1. kristenhouse
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    kristenhouse New Member

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    Style Formatting sign names

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kristenhouse, Aug 24, 2014.

    I cannot find information about this anywhere. Maybe someone here can help.

    How should I go about formatting sign names? Quotes, italics, nothing at all? For example:
    • A sign above the door read, "Restroom."
    • She sat down at his desk, at the corner of which a plaque showed his name: Dr. Adams.
    • He stopped at a locked gate barred by a sign reading Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted.
    Is there a specific rule for this, or is it one of those gray areas, in which you choose one method (quotes, italics, or nothing at all) and stick with it?
     
  2. Empty Bird
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    Empty Bird Member

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    I've read books where all of the above were used.

    Whether or not it's a grey area, I'm not positively sure.

    A sign above the door read 'Restroom'.

    Perhaps don't use speech-marks, but use...er...apostrophes? Darn it, my brain's so fried I can't remember anything! Anyway, those...dashy things...I DO KNOW THE NAME, I SWEAR!!

    So yeah, apostrophe-slash-dashy-things or italics.

    Or just go wild and use both.

    Sorry for the frazzled sort of response.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Your first example is correct. Quotation marks are the way to go.
     
  4. kristenhouse
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    kristenhouse New Member

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    Okay, use of quotes seems to be the general consensus. Thank you!
     
  5. Kat Hawthorne
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    Kat Hawthorne Member

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    I know I may be quizzed on this, so the reference I used for my answer is The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Ed.). On page 461, point 8.196 states:

    Signs and notices. Specific wording of common short signs or notices is capitalized headline-style in running text. A longer notice is better treated as a quotation.

    Eg.

    The door was marked Authorized Personnel Only.
    She encountered the usual Thank You for Not Smoking signs.
    We were disturbed by the notice "Shoes and shirt required of patrons but not of personnel."




    Please note that other style guides may tell you something different. The important thing is that you remain consistent.
     
  6. kristenhouse
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    kristenhouse New Member

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    Yes, consistency is key. Interesting that the CMS says that. I'm editing a book, so I should probably use that as my guide--the CMS seems to be the go-to guide for grammar in manuscripts/books.

    Thank you!
     

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