A reader of one of my drafts found fault with my use of parentheses; I put the word "bounded" in parentheses in a statement of a certain theorem, and he replied "But the statement isn't true if the assumption of boundedness is dropped!"

That reader seemed to be thinking that parentheses mark things that are in some way inessential (as is sometimes the case in non-mathematical prose). But, as I wrote to him:

*Here I am using parentheses to mean "Of course the interval must be bounded! In case some of you are nodding off, I'll include the stipulation of boundedness, but I might not include it next time." I wonder if that use of parentheses has a name?*

Does this use of parentheses have a name, or any sort of pedigree that might dignify it, within or beyond mathematical writing?

I have no idea how to tag this post; it's a question about the (possibly nonexistent) subfield of modern Rhetoric that is concerned with the ways mathematicians use language to communicate ideas to other mathematicians. I'll be grateful if someone will suggest appropriate tags and add them (and I'll make a note of what the tag is, in case I need it again).

be explicit, as explicit as you can without becoming painful: the seconds you save by not writing things out will be charged to your readers in terms of time and unease. $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jul 20 '12 at 19:25