Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Punctuation Used for Emphasis

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Italics, Capitals, and Quotation Marks For Emphasis

Good writers choose commanding words in their sentences and only use italics, capitals, and quotation marks when required by punctuation rules. Don't overuse these forms of punctuation or your writing will lose its force.

Italics for Emphasis

Examples:

Employees must notify the HR office in writing of any absence.

Will I ever finish this chapter?

I only tried to help!


Capitals For Emphasis


Examples:

Manuscripts sent without self-addressed, stamped envelopes WILL BE RETURNED UNREAD.

Scalpers mingled in the noisy crowd yelling, "TICKETS, SIXTY DOLLARS!"


Quotation Marks Used For Emphasis (in a skeptical or sarcastic way):


Example:

Bob's regular Friday night "volunteer work" turned out to be a poker game.


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Source: Grammar Done Right!

11 comments:

  1. Nice overview, Crystal! And you're so right that overuse is something to avoid.

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  2. Great post. I probably overuse the italics. But I want people to know how I would read it! Just kidding...sort of.

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  3. I probably overuse the italics, too, but sometimes they just seem so right! :)

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  4. Great reminders as always - thank you!

    Take care
    x

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  5. Thanks for the reminder. I need to be reminded about these exact things from time to time because they creep in little by little and before you know it they overtake everything.

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  6. Oh yeah, Crystal. I tend to forget this and overuse things, especially exclamation points!!
    karen

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  7. I'm so stingy with exclamation points that one of my crit partners will say, "I think you're justified in using one here."

    My punctuation overkill is ellipses.

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  8. I use these a lot in communication, but try to only use a limited number of the italics examples in writing, and THEN only in thoughts that are specifically attributed. For some reason it seems okay for my characters to add emphasis, but not for me as a writer, if that makes sense.

    I use more em-dashes than are probably merited.

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  9. Everyone appears to have their own punctuation issue! LOL ~ Happy to provide the reminder! :)

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