1. essential life
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    essential life Member

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    Putting emphasis on italicized words

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by essential life, Nov 28, 2009.

    What if you're writing a flashback or something and the words are all in italics, but you want to emphasize a word? Underline it? Use normal text?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, you shouldn't use italics for more than a few words, in the first place... it's too hard to read long italicized passages... there's no need to use them for a flashback...
     
  3. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    People do italicize paragraphs or even a few pages sometimes, but one just has to realize that a weakness will be an inability to stress a word.

    Personally, I agree with Mammamaia. I don’t like reading long stretches of italicized print.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You shouldn't be doing that. It's a misuse of italics.
     
  5. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    In the Twilight Saga, Mrs. Meyer uses Italics when the Wolves are thinking to eachother, and to put emphasis on a word when the passage is in Italics she uses normal text.

    hope this helps,
    Fantasy Girl xx
     
  6. essential life
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    essential life Member

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    I'm not necessarily disputing your words. But don't a lot of professional authors do it?
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    As does everyone else ...


    If you want to show a flashback I'd just use something else to show that, italics is a very bad idea when using this; but I've seen it done before - but it was in The Da Vinci Code.

    I would put an asteris to show the time frame has changed.
     
  8. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Normal text is used in an italicized passage the same way italics is used to offset something in ordinary print. I'm not home where I can look up an example or cite a reliable style manual reference, but I see this done a lot in legal documents as well as in scholarly works, and I'm sure I've even seen it done in fiction. Of course, that doesn't mean your flashback should or must be in italics, although it's not unusual to see italics used to show reflective thoughts.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in re italicizing flashbacks and thoughts, that some do it does not make it a good thing to do...
     
  10. aniolel
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    aniolel Member

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    It also depends the rules of the publishing house...they are the ones who set the rules. As one of my writer friends said to me, keep it consistence.
     
  11. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    First time authors should not italicize often, IMO at least. I can suggest to maybe make a space between the last paragraph you've written before the flashback, so it is evident you are switching to something else, in this case a flash back. Then, keep it normal and you can italicize the words you want to have emphasis on.

    If you want to make the whole thing in italics, I can only assume the words you want to put an emphasis on can go in the normal font/not italics.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that is how it's done, if you must do it...
     
  13. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    This is just one reason why you shouldn't be using italics that way in the first place.

    As others have noted, I don't like reading italicised print for long, either.
     

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