This box is so ordinary I don’t quite know what to make of it. I have no objection to its plain appearance—it’s just that every other box at the bottle shop is more elaborate, usually designed to match, or at least echo, the labels on the wine bottles it contains. Perhaps that’s the point! Champagne should speak for itself. Perhaps it is just so très French: mon dieu, we do not have to prove anything to you/sell you anything/make any effort/être français est assez! Whether or not irony was intended, the box was different enough that it stood out from the shouting and competing crowd: paradoxically making the very unremarkableness of it remarkable.


A bracket is a punctuation mark used to set text apart within a larger body of text. Brackets come in pairs—an opening bracket and a closing bracket, and they can be round, curly, square or angled. There are many names for brackets. Parentheses (meaning, literally, ‘to put aside’) are also called round brackets, soft brackets or first brackets. Square brackets are also known as hard brackets or second brackets. Braces are curly, swirly, birdie, squiggly, fancy or twirly. Chevrons are pointy, angle, diamond or triangular. Whatever you like to call them, they have an important place in the world of punctuation. Parentheses, for example, have been used in written English since the 1500s and chevrons are used today in html markup.