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Typographer and design expert Robin Williams puts it this way: “Never underline.Underlining is for typewriters.” How, then, should you denote book, magazine, movie and song titles, CDs and works of art, poems and websites?Thankfully, the rules are not terribly difficult, and one quick question to yourself can help you sort out the proper formatting quickly.
Let’s say you write a poem about a poem and you title it this way: Lines after Reading “The Love Song of J.
Alfred Prufrock” Now, you need to enclose the entire title of the poem within quotations when you mention this poem in a cover letter.
The titles of portions of a larger text or work (e.g., a chapter in a book, an article in a journal or newspaper, an individual song on an album, or a scene in a movie) should appear enclosed in quotation marks.
Simply ask yourself if the work appears as part of a larger work.
If the answer is yes, then enclose the title in quotation marks.
For example, the article entitled “FBI Agents Finds Nixon Aides Sabotaged Democrats” as published in The Washington Post or the chapter “Playing Pilgrims” in Little Women should be handled in this way.If you want your documents to be as attractive as they are well-written — or if you’re an author who plans to self-publish and do your own book formatting — invest in the version of the Robin Williams book that matches your computer. (Note: There is no financial benefit for me if you order a copy from these links.) The Mac is not a typewriter The PC is not a typewriter May I add that I often to show what should be reconsidered or rewritten. Kathy Watson has a love/hate relationship with grammar; she loves words and the punctuation that helps them make sense, yet she hates those pesky rules.I invite your feedback, whether in the comment section below or by email, and I hope you’ll share this blog with friends and colleagues who might find it helpful. A self-proclaimed ruthless editor, she prefers standard usage guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook.Her easy-to-use Grammar for People Who Hate Rules helps people write and speak with authority and confidence.She encourages and welcomes questions and comments.However, CMS adds this caveat: “Though major works of art are generally italicized, some massive works of sculpture are regarded primarily as monuments and therefore are capitalized but not italicized or enclosed in quotation marks.” Choosing italics or quotation marks is fairly consistent in some areas but not in others.Create your own guideline for how you will denote titles for various works, but remember that usage might be influenced by not only preference but by your reading audience, your client, your employer, or perhaps the publication to which you are submitting a story or column.One thing about designating titles is consistent: avoid underlining.You can add emphasis or make something stand out in any document with , bold type, “quotation marks,” using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or by using a larger font, as exemplified by headings in this blog.For example, “The Intruder,” a short story by Andre Dubus appears in his collection, includes a story titled “Drown.” In this case, the use of italics or quotation marks can help the reader understand what’s being referenced—the entire book or the individual story.This usage remains true even when titles appear within quotations.