directions in square brackets in middle of quotes don't work right

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Not a Problem
I corrected some quotes using submission 141115-190259-612000 and the quotes got split up in a strange (i.e., incorrect) way. For example, one of the quotes was unclear out of the context of the show -- the Cleaver family have just seen Beaver's school play, and they're ready to find Beaver and congratulate him -- so I added a word in square brackets ([]) to make the reference more clear. The parser took the square-bracketed information in the middle of the quote as a stage direction, and put it on a separate line, with the rest of the quote continued on the next line.
What I entered as "Ward: Come on, let's go back [stage] and get him" came out as:

  Ward: Come on, let's go back
  Ward: and get him.

You have to use square brackets -- [] --, not regular parentheses -- () --  (called "brackets" in UK, if I'm not mistaken!) because in a quote people might say things that are "truly" parenthetical,
as in this made-up example:

  Betty: I don't care who Charlie (the butcher) cheated, I just want him prosecuted.

The solution might be for the parser to determine whether a square-bracketed word or
phrase is in the middle of "regular" quote text, and if so, leave it where it is.
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Gerald Jones, Ph.D.

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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of DavidAH_Ca

DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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IMDb uses square brackets as 'stage directions', and has decided that those will always be on a separate line.  However, they do not require them to be entered on separate lines and automatically move them to a second line with the rest of the quote on the third.

I don't totally agree with this, because I would prefer to see :
John: I would like to [smiles] see that.
rather than
John: I would like to
John: see that.
However, there is enough of a problem getting people to enter the words correctly; getting them to make a good choice about whether or not the stage direction should be on a separate line is probably asking too much.

I don't think that additional words should be added to the quote proper. Perhaps the best solution in this case would be to add a descriptive stage direction (if it s really needed). Something like: 
[waiting for Beaver, who is backstage]
Ward: Come on, let's go back and get him