1. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Proper way to stress a word

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by zilly, Sep 13, 2010.

    What is the proper way to stress a word for importance in a sentence. For example, if I have the sentence:

    I always dance.

    And, for whatever reason, I want to stress "always." What is the proper way to do that? Is it bad practice to emphasize a word?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I probably wouldn't use it in that example, but a word receiving a stress it would not ordinarily receive in a sentence may be italicized to show the emphasis.

    It's one of the few legitimate uses of italics in writing.
     
  3. John Cleeves
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    John Cleeves Member

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    The proper place in the sentence for the word, or group of words, you want to make most prominent is usually the end. This applies also to the sentences of a paragraph and the paragraphs of a composition.

    Also, any element of the sentence other than the subject becomes emphatic when placed first.

    Your sentence, being so short, is emphatic as a hole and I'm unsure why you'd need to stress the word "always" in an already forceful statement.
     
  4. Horizon Noise
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    Horizon Noise Member

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    The stress, in this case, should be obvious by the context. If someone asks

    "Will you be dancing?"

    and the reply is

    "I always dance."

    Then the stress on the word always is already there.
     
  5. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    I just used a short example sentence to be brief. I wanted to know if it were supposed to be in italics and it seems that is the case. That's what I've been doing, but my friend has been putting the letters in caps and she's the English major.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is absolutely not the case. You should not use italics to indicate thought.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea that you should from the responses in this thread.
     
  7. Horizon Noise
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    Horizon Noise Member

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    I hope you're jesting. Or should I say, I HOPE you're JESTING.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hope You're Jesting is used by some authors sparingly:)
     
  9. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Maybe my retarded eyes are reading your sentence wrong, but it seems that you stated that words receiving stress they wouldn't ordinarily receive may be italicized. You went on to say that it was one of the few legitimate uses of italics in writing. So, now I'm a little confused if it's absolutely not the case. I'm also confused why "not" is in bold because it is relevant to my question.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Italicizing a word for emphasis is correct.
    Italicizing literal thought to identify it as unspoken dialogue is incorrect.

    I'm sorry. The question of italicizing thoughts came up (yet again!) around the same time as when this thread started, and I thought it had worked its way into this thread as well.

    Other legitimate uses of italics in fiction:
    You can use italics for a foreign term embedded in English text, nes paz?
    You also use italics for titles of creative works, like Tolstoy's War and Peace, or Lucas' Star Wars, or Mother by Whistler. However titles of countries like the United States of America, geographical features like the Grand Canyon, or persons like the Duke of Windsor are not italicized.

    Clearer?
     

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