How do I eliminate back-to-back parentheses in a sentence?

To eliminate back-to-back parentheses in a sentence, you should generally reword:  

Original: 

The General Franco Institute published the most important Spanish colonial work on Andalusi music, Patrocinio García Barriuso’s La música hispano-musulmana en Marruecos (“Hispano-Muslim Music in Morocco”) (1941).

Revised:

In 1941, the General Franco Institute published the most important Spanish colonial work on Andalusi music, Patrocinio García Barriuso’s La música hispano-musulmana en Marruecos (“Hispano-Muslim Music in Morocco”).

In some cases, you can combine information in one set of parentheses and separate the items with a semicolon:

Original:

In N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, when Mrs. St. John arrives at the rectory, she tells Father Olguin, “We live in California, my husband and I, Los Angeles. . . . This is beautiful country . . .” (29) (1st ellipsis in original).

Revised:

In N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, when Mrs. St. John arrives at the rectory, she tells Father Olguin, “We live in California, my husband and I, Los Angeles. . . . This is beautiful country . . .” (29; 1st ellipsis in original).

Note: The first example is adapted from Eric Calderwood’s “Franco’s Hajj: Moroccan Pilgrims, Spanish Fascism, and the Unexpected Journeys of Modern Arabic Literature” (PMLA, vol. 132, no. 5, Oct. 2017, pp. 1097–116). The second example is adapted from the MLA Handbook, 8th ed. (Modern Language Association of America, 2016, p. 85). 

 

 

Published 31 October 2018

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