Marking Italics

Proofreaders’ Marks

Italics come in handy: they’re great for emphasis, for foreign words, for titles of books and movies, for words as words, and more. So how do you add italics to roman text? You simply underline the words you’d like italicized.

When you’re pressed for time and underlining like the wind it’s not unusual for an underline to creep up a little and look a bit like a crossed out word. But you don’t need to worry about your underline being mistaken for a deletion because you’re remembering to add that little flourish to your deletion marks like I showed you in the entry on deleting stuff, right?

It’s also a good idea to put a circled* ital in the margin next to the line so no one misses your markup or underlines the text instead of italicizing it:

*Unless it’s an official proofreaders’ mark, you need to enclose any markup you don’t want added to the text within a circle. If your ital appears uncircled, it’s possible that an inputter (who isn’t reading for content but just inserting changes) will add the letters i, t, a and l into your document, which will properly confuse your readers.

That red pencil still burning a hole in your pocket protector? You can find a full listing of all the Word Blog’s Proofreaders’ Marks entries here.

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