I have been working with a Ukrainian student to help them practice English and have noticed in their writing they often end sentences with double parentheses. For example: "I went to the park yesterday))". Has anyone ever encountered this before or does anyone know where this came from? I'm unsure of how to correct it without embarrassing them, so any information I can get before I bring it up will be helpful.

  • 1
    This doesn't sound like a question about learning English.
    – gotube
    Jun 29 '21 at 2:13
  • It's not, but @starkindler's answer does answer it, and I can imagine others with the same question.
    – Davo
    Jul 6 '21 at 19:52

Is this writing happening in some form of informal digital communication like texting? In some countries where Cyrillic is the alphabet of choice, emoticons (for example the :) smiley face) are written without the colon for the eyes to conserve SMS characters. It's very possible that your student is using these "eyeless emoticons" to express tone in the same way that a English speaker would end their texts with an emoji.

I struggle to find formal sources for this, but here is an article: https://www.rbth.com/lifestyle/326858-why-russians-use-parentheses

  • 1
    Yes it is! I looked at the article you linked and I think that is EXACTLY what is happening! Thank you so much for the help!
    – Anne
    Jun 24 '21 at 19:42
  • 1
    @Anne - I have found that with my phone, if I type a colon and a closing parenthesis in an ordinary text (SMS) message like this :) then the phone converts those 2 text characters into a yellow smiley face picture and the message become an MMS message which is not covered by my text plan and costs extra (a lot extra!) to send. So maybe this guy is seeking to save money. Maybe it's because of my age, but I quickly get tired of emojis, whether text or picture. Jun 24 '21 at 20:09

You could try gently asking them why they do it, and build on their explanation, which is unlikely to be convincing, because ending a sentence with double parentheses is always incorrect in English (or any other language that I have heard of). You end a sentence with one (only) of these: a period ('full stop'), question mark, or exclamation mark.

You have three options for punctuating the end of a sentence: a period, an exclamation mark, or a question mark

End of sentence punctuation

  • This is a good idea! Another commenter mentioned that they believe it is a short-hand for an emoticon since we are communicating in an informal setting. I think I will try to combine that with the correction for something like: "In more formal settings you will need to use...".
    – Anne
    Jun 24 '21 at 19:43

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