Why is it that if I use  instead of () the rest of the thread is in italics??
I admit it - I'm lazy. It is much easier to put something in  than it is () and that is what I do. Then once posted I see that the whole thing is in italics even though I have not put any typed of url or code or anything but [normal words inside the] 
Ok - and of course it isn't doing it now - figures.
I'm not using [as a code] but as an "aside" I guess one would say [so to speak] instead of (so to speak). Usually anything I typed in the [aside] makes the rest of the thread in italics even though I haven't used the italics code - so then I go back and edit and make the [aside] into (aside). I'm probably not making sense at all.
[editing to say - this is unreal, now it isn't doing things in italics when I use the  for an aside - too funny!!] [next time it happens I'm going to leave it so you can see what I'm talking about]
The square brackets are part of the coding. If you hit the quote button to reply instead of the quick reply button you will see square brackets all over the place. So it thinks you are writing code. Maybe when it happens the first word after your bracket is an "I" so it thinks you are italicising.
In the forum software used here, a pair of brackets is used as the holders for any markup. You can see this effect by highlighting some text and clicking on one of the formatting icons, and you can see the specific markup for a particular effect just moving your cursor over an icon and watching for the explanatory popup text. Parentheses are not used for this purpose, so are regarded as safe when posting asides or other parenthetical thoughts on a forum.
The markup language used on this (and most other) forums is essentially a simplified version of HTML, with the additional difference that the markup language is offset with brackets in markup but with angle brackets (i.e.: "<" and ">") in HTML.
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