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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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Because I just have to know
So, it seems that you can search Bartleby.com for pronouncements on writing style.

I'd been meaning to look up the whole boldface, italics and "quotation marks" issue, as regards titles. I'm putting it here for safe-keeping and future reference.

Boldface only shows up in the context of defining relevant portions in examples.

I found this on Italics:

American printed matter uses italics (the type fonts whose letters slant to the right) for the titles of literary and other artistic works (War and Peace, Verdi's Requiem); for the names of journals and newspapers (The New York Times, Newsweek); for words, letters, and numbers cited as words, letters, and numbers (as here with the word italics); for foreign words and phrases (ars longa, vita brevis est), although when these loan words and phrases have been fully assimilated into English, we usually cease to italicize them, as with à la mode; for the names of ships (Queen Elizabeth II, or Q.E. II ); and for a number of other technical purposes such as are usually specified in a publisher's stylebook. In handwriting or typescript, underline what you wish to italicize. Italics are also used for emphasis and to indicate a heavier-than-normal stress on a word, particularly in Semiformal and Informal writing, although most editors discourage the practice. To achieve the effect of italics in the midst of a full sentence already in italics, put the word to be stressed in roman: We thought she'd never leave!

And this, relevant to titles, about the use of "quotation marks." I also found helpful the paragraph about additional punctuation:

Convention also calls for double quotation marks around the titles of short stories, short poems, short musical compositions, and the names of plays, chapters in books, and radio and television programs: Frost's "The Road Not Taken," "Eye Witness News." (Titles of longer works usually require italics instead, and sometimes the decision is arbitrary or simply conventional: books of the Bible, for example, are almost always italicized rather than placed in quotation marks, and the same is true of the titles of Shakespeare's plays.)

A key problem with quotation marks is which other marks of punctuation go inside the closing quotation mark(s ) and which belong outside. In the United States, most stylebooks and most editors follow these rules: periods and commas belong inside, colons and semicolons outside. Other marks -- question mark, dash, and exclamation point, for example -- go inside when they belong with the quoted material, outside when they belong to the main sentence. British editorial conventions differ.

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As a general rule, I'll italicize the names of television series, but quote the names of individual episodes.

So, Star Trek, but "The Cage". And in the example you cite, I would actually italicize rather than quote Eye Witness News, assuming it's a regular news program.

Movies should always be italicized.


I looked this up, because I've been using boldface for book titles, quite inappropriately, so I decided the review the full details of How Things Are Done. I appreciate the additional common use suggestions.

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