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Thread: Question about use of brackets [in thread titles]

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Falls Church, VA (near Washington, DC)

    Question about use of brackets [in thread titles]

    Recently I have noticed a few threads in which part or all of the title text was enclosed in brackets, meaning something like [Question about use of brackets]. Is my feeble old fuddyduddy brain missing some sort of meaning here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    I think they're all titles written by Mods, when they pull posts off of another thread and create a new thread.

    Then again, I don't think there is actually anything that would prevent anyone from using brackets if they felt like it.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    New Zealand
    That's often me.

    I use the brackets to signify that the title (or part of it) wasn't created by the poster.

    Sometimes I do it when the title is useless (that irritates me).

    For example, a Q&A thread titled: I have a question [about blackholes and quasars]

    Other times it's done when a new thread is created by splitting off part of another thread. The new thread needs a title, and it's only fair to show that it wasn't made by the maker of the first post (the whole title will have brackets). Usually when this is done there's a note to that poster that they can suggest a new title for the thread. (i.e. if they make a report to the mods saying "please change the title to 'XYZ'").

    It's not really an "official policy", more of a thing that's just done.

    (Just to be recursive, I added detail to this thread title (I hope you can see the significance of the added bit) - let me know if that's annoying and you'd like it removed. I'm also going to move the thread to where discussion about the site usually occurs.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Why do people call them square brackets when they're just a straight edge?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Why do people call them square brackets when they're just a straight edge?
    Because they're not groovy brackets, man. Do ya dig it?

    It's actually because there are square* brackets [] and angular brackets <>.

    Some people erroneously call braces {} brackets. Then there are parenthesis ().

    However, bracket can be used as a general term for any grouping sign.

    (* Square does not necessarily mean "rectangle with sides of identical length." It can also mean "90 angle.")

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    To distinguish from curly brackets, e.g., Dirac's bra ({) and ket (}).

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