Q. I am a technical writer for a game corporation and we are working on training documents. Is there a rule that I can call attention to in order to discourage the overuse of parentheses? Right now I don’t have anything to show in order to prove my point. Perhaps I am the one who is incorrect; either way, I would like a rule to reference if there is one.

A. The rule is that if there are too many parentheses, take some out. Material that is comparatively less parenthetical in nature may be set off with commas or dashes instead. Of course, this calls for judgment on the part of the writer or copy editor, which means that individuals may disagree.