When all or part of an utterance is in parentheses, or the speaker identification is, this indicates uncertainty on the transcriber's part, but represents a likely possibility. Empty parentheses indicate that something is being said, but no hearing could be achieved. If the empty parentheses is where speakers are identified, it indicates that no identification of the speaker could be achieved.

In transcription fragments in papers, two parentheses may be printed, one above the other; these represent alternative hearings of the same strip of talk. On the computer, this format cannot be reproduced, and is replaced by putting the alternative hearings in parentheses, separated by a single oblique or slash, as in TG,

Here, the degree marks show that the utterance is very soft. The transcript remains indeterminate between "Bu::t." and "Goo:d." Each is in parenthese and they are separated by a slash.