Punctuation: Parentheses with italic type

July 28, 2005: Issue 98

Italicize parentheses when the type inside them is entirely italic. If the type inside is roman or a mix of italic and roman, make the parentheses roman. (Opening and closing parentheses should always be the same type style.) This new style rule applies to all parentheses, including those around plant names.

italic: Pink phlox and purple obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) contrast with yellow and white snapdragons.
roman: The two found inexpensive accessories at their favorite secondhand shops (where they scored the oversize shoe chair).
roman: Don’t forget about dogwood (Cornus spp.), fragrant and staghorn sumac (Rhus aromatica and R. typhina), and fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii and F. major).

ON BHGSTYLEBOOK.COM: For more information on how to treat plant names in text, see Plant Names Style.

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