1. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Why should this be italicized?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lameri, Mar 27, 2011.

    I found the following sentence:

    In the next email, his response was: “Sure, I wanna go. When?

    Thank you.
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that in your example it was done to stress it was a written sentence, not a spoken one.
     
  3. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    w176 is right. Writers often use a different font or italicize when they show something written that their character is reading. That may be an e-mail, a letter, a passage from a book, or a note on a fridge.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It should not be italicized.
     
  5. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I think lameri found it in a book and was asking why a writer would do that. Writers do often use this to show a character reading written words. Nora Roberts does it, Jodi Picoult, Fern Michaels has done it, Dean Koontz, and James Patterson, to name a few.
     
  6. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    I'd like to know if it was really a talking email, as the formatting suggests.
     
  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    How does it suggest it's a talking e-mail?
     
  8. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Dialog tags?
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Okay.. I was paying more attention to the wording. I see what you mean.

    As far as authors using italics though...case in point

    The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

    Chapter 39 Pg 256

    " Two e-mails from Pigkeeper were in the box when Brian and Amy returned with the dog. The first was succinct: It will be me.
    Reading the screen over Brian's shoulder, Amy said, "What's it mean to you?"
    "Nothing."
    He opened the second message: Did I say STAND BY?
    Brian sent a reply: Standing by."

    Beginning and ending quotations to show that it is a quote from a book, not actually quotations in the book.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it shouldn't be... there's no good reason to use italics there... that some writers [or publishers] do does not make it a rule and does not mean a new, unknown one can get away with it... koontz makes his publishers so much money they'd let him write any way he wants...
     
  11. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I understand that, but again, lameri said she "found it" and I assume that meant in a book. She was asking why it was like that, so saying "it shouldn't be" wasn't answering her question. I wasn't condoning the behavior, I was explaining the unnamed writers intention.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The question was, why should it be italicized. I answered that question. Just because you see it in print does not mean it is correct.

    In this case it is incorrect use of italics. Unfortunately misuse of italics is epidemic.
     
  13. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I apparently interpreted the question incorrectly. My apologies. You are correct about misuse of italics, Dean Koontz being one of the worst I am aware of. You can hardly turn a page without something being italicized.
     
  14. lameri
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    lameri Senior Member

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    Thanks so much, everyone, for your answers. Very useful!
     

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