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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Italics?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by GuardianWynn, Jan 25, 2015.

    What are they really for? I hear many people say they are for writing a character's inner thoughts. I also remember reading that writing italics for this is a common misconception. So what is everything that they are really for?

    Edit

    Oh yeah in my case someone brought it up recently based on the fact that someone had a voice in there head and thought that italics is a better way to show it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    For inner thoughts you need to go to this sticky thread because it comes up so often.

    Other uses are for some quotations, word emphasis, some titles, and you can look up those uses on most grammar information sites or ask here if it is something specific.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Good god, ANOTHER reheated thread on this thoroughly whipped and pureed equine?
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Forgive my ignorance.
     
  5. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    It begins again...
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Don't mind him, he has issues with italics most of us don't have.
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it really that heated an issue? I figured it would be like a;
    "One large and long post explaining everything and a few people arguing but the forum core members knowing better and shut down idiots the moment they rise"

    Is this not how it goes?
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    The thread is fairly informative if you have time to wade through it. The attitude shifts by the end though so you might want to read the beginning and end and maybe skim the middle.

    The problem with the anti-italics for thoughts camp is a lack of evidence.
     
  9. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    Generally there are pretty valid arguments both ways, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle in both a pragmatic and idealistic sense. But in general, it seems the people who hate italics for thoughts, really hate them with a passion.
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Really? It isn't like a;
    "Grammar rules say X period"?

    Figured it would be simple like that.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The problem with a lot of grammar rules is, one, conventions are not exactly the same in different countries, two, they are not the same in all professional sources (fiction differs from formal essays for example), and three, conventions change over time. Italics appears to be a changing convention though there are examples in historical literature of their being used for thoughts by some authors.
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Looking at that thread it seems to me that;

    Italics are NOT for internal thoughts but that many people have done it and gotten away with it and now as such people are saying that is can and should be done based on it already having happened. Which is like saying;
    "Yep we made a mistake but to hide it we are going to say that is a thing now."

    Seem I got it about right?
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No, I don't think you have it right at all. How about we switch over to the actual thread instead of dragging this one on and I can address your comment?
     
  14. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    The problem is really the hard not. The rules about what is and isn't acceptable use of italics are rather shaky, due partly to the fact that they aren't really a grammatical construction any more than coloured text is. So the assertion that it is flat out incorrect is, well, incorrect. There are instead various guidelines about how they should be used, but as with everything in language, they vary.
     
  15. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah if we are talking about italics in English vs Japanese this seems valid but your saying in English there is no standard? That writing an entire book in Italics because. . . you wanted too? Not considered incorrect?
     
  16. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    No more so than writing an entire book in comic sans in incorrect. But it would reduce your chances of getting published to roughly zero, due to extreme illegibility.
    The argument over whether using italics for thoughts is less likely to get you published has already been fought, which is mainly where the topic of other successful authors using it comes up.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I answered your posts in the other thread.
     
  18. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't care exactly about chances of publishing I just want to adhere to the correct and accepted standards. Saying a book in italics isn't wrong sounds like saying that technically writing by hand using a different color crayon for each letter isn't breaking a grammar rule. It still under what I think we both think is the normal standard. Know what I mean?

    I saw. Personally it seems like my original thought was correct. That font format is not a grammar issue under normal circumstances. So grammar rules don't mention it often. In this case though of italics there is a reason for using them. Such as stress a word. So it seems people forget that while normally font choice doesn't matter italics do. Sound about right?
     
  19. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    That's the problem, there is no standard practice here, thus, the 32 page thread discussing the issue.
     
  20. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Looking at that thread it didn't seem like a discussion. It seemed more like a;
    "Yes!"
    "No!"
    "Yes!"
    "No, your wrong!"
    "No! I am right!"
    lol
     
  21. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    You could always do what I do, that is, use a specific character style (or whatever your word processor of choice calls it). I'm slightly more on the italics for thoughts side, as should probably be clear. But I'm also a rather practical person, so I feel it would be foolish to adhere too strongly to one side in what is quite clearly a two sided debate. What I do is simply create two separate styles called "Emphasis" and "Internal Dialogue". That way, I can change it at will. If I decide I thoughts plain, I can make them plain. If I want them both to have different coloured backgrounds (which I used to make sure both styles where applied correctly) then I can change that. If I want to convert italics to underline for manuscript format (yes, I'm one of those mutants who don't write in standard manuscript format) then I can do that.

    Either way, you should probably avoid inline formatting as much as possible.
     
  22. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Inline formatting?
     
  23. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure what writers call it, "inline formatting" is mostly a computer science term, but the principles are essentially the same. Basically, instead of simply selecting each and every chapter heading and making it a certain size with a certain alignment, you would instead make every chapter heading use specific style called "Heading" or something along those lines, and control the formatting designated in the style instead. Same with body text, same with virtually everything else. Basically, it means that you can control the formatting of everything using a specific style, instead of manually going through and selecting all the text every time you want to change something.
     

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