1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Text on a Sign

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lostinwebspace, Nov 22, 2011.

    If we're using the text of a sign right in the sentence, how do we write it?

    Here's my sentence as it stands now: He read the No Trespassing sign pegged to the door.

    Do we use capitals? Quotation marks?
     
  2. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Though, I am not 100% certain, I want to say you would write it in bold with capitols? But then again, part of me thinks I have seen it with capitols and single quotations. Maybe you can do either one?
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have one sign (if you can call it that),in my ms, it was a handwritten "sign" in the window of a restaurant saying
    Staff wanted
    and i wrote it like that, in bold and on a new line.
    I'm not saying it's the right way to go, but that's how I did. It would be interesting to hear what IS the right way if someone knows. :)
     
  4. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    I would just use italics, but it canbe anything you like if your printer can handle it.
    I'd write it more like 'He read the sign, No Trespassing' as well. that sounds better to me, but your mileage may vary!
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel it's the same as using italics for thoughts. Frowned upon.

    I'd say your example would be correct.

    I drove past the stop sign.
    There was a sign reading "No Trespassing" beside the door.

    It depends on the nature of the sign. Don't give it all-capitals. That would be extremely tacky. If it's a sign out of the ordinary, use quotation marks. If it's a regular, garden-variety sign, then just put it in.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    yes, I realize the way i did doesn't work in this situation so I guess I would have written that in italics too, like above.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to reiterate my point about using italics for thoughts. You were here at the time, Tesoro. I'm certain you've seen the arguments/discussions in threads about whether it's okay to use italics for thoughts.
     
  8. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    yes, I have, and I have never considered using italics for thoughts at all. To me this is not the same thing. Usually I only use italics for foreign words and maybe I would for names of things like restaurants and boats and stuff like that too, although that has never happened yet. But even quotation marks doesn't look bad. I'm open for suggestions. :)
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're not quoting the text of the sign in that sentence, only referring to the kind of sign he was reading... so the way you did it is ok, imo...

    if you were telling the readers exactly what the sign said, then it would have to be in " "... and if it's in all-caps on the sign, then it has to be that way in the narrative...
     
  10. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Agrees with Maia.
     

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