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italics
Definition:

A style of typeface in which letters are slanted to the right. This is printed in italics.

As shown below, italics are most commonly used for the titles of works that stand by themselves, such as the names of books and magazines.

Etymology:

From the Latin, "Italy"

Guidelines for Using Italics:

  1. As a general rule, italicize the titles of complete works:
    • books: Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
    • magazines and journals: Time
    • newspapers: The Times
    • plays: A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry
    • movies: The Godfather
    • television programs: Doctor Who
    • works of art: Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper
    • albums and CDs: OK Computer, by Radiohead
    The titles of comparatively short works--songs, poems, short stories, essays, and episodes of TV programs--should be enclosed in quotation marks.


  2. As a general rule, italicize the names of aircraft, ships, and trains; foreign words used in an English sentence; and words and letters discussed as words and letters:
    • "These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise."
      (title sequence of the original Star Trek TV series)


    • From 1925 to 1953, a passenger train named the Orange Blossom Special brought vacationers to sunny Florida from New York.


    • "There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers."
      (Phillip Franklin, Vice President of White Star Line)


    • "Come kiss me, and say goodbye like a man. No, not good-bye, au revoir."
      (William Graham, "Chats With Jane Clermont" 1893)


    • "Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the."
      (Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman)


  3. As a general rule, use italics to emphasize words and phrases:
    "I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake."
    (J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye)

    "Italics rarely fail to insult the reader's intelligence. More often than not they tell us to emphasize a word or phrase that we would emphasize automatically in any natural reading of the sentence."
    (Paul Robinson, "The Philosophy of Punctuation." Opera, Sex, and Other Vital Matters. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2002)
Pronunciation: ih-TAL-iks

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