Italics Within Italics

An essay looking at how you emphasise words when the entire sentence is written in italics.

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Italicising is a common way for people to show that there is some form of emphasis on certain words. I quite like it for this. See what I did there?

You can also include large passages of italicised text in your writing. Maybe you’ve got a character that’s always written in italics, a character’s thoughts are in italics or you’re showing someone writing. What happens when you want to show emphasis within a section of text that is already in italics?

There isn’t necessarily a rule for this so it is sort of up to you. As long as you’re consistent, you can do what you want to show emphasis. Maybe you want to underline the word or embolden it? I wouldn’t recommend it personally as it doesn’t look that good as a finished product. What is usually done is to write the word without italics to emphasise it.

This is an entire sentence of italics and I love italics.

By doing it this way there is a nice balance between being quite clear to the reader what you’re intention is but not being quite an invasive piece of formatting. By that, I mean that bold and/or underlined text can be quite jarring for a reader and has the potential to bring them out of the flow.

In this sentence, I do not think you should underline or make bold, certainly not both.

So, I’d say stick with writing in non-italics if you want to write something in italics when the entire sentence is in italics.

David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.

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