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 Post subject: Using All Caps for Emphasis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:05 pm 
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The Scribe of Athero
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I subscribe to the Chicago Manual of Style, being one of the major style manuals for newspapers in the U.S. It is the style book I most follow in my own editing.

I came across this CMOS rule regarding using all caps for emphasis.

User's Question: What would you say to a translator who says that an author’s use of all caps for EMPHASIS should stand? I tried to invoke house style but she is claiming it is, well, LITERARY. I’d like to explain to the author and translator this looks AMATEUR at best, and to say, look, WE JUST DON’T DO THAT.

CMOS's Answer: If it’s not a lot of text, I would just put it in small caps without discussing it further. If it’s a lot, I would press on in my arguments, e.g., “I feel I must more strenuously insist on the use of italics for emphasis instead of all caps. Chicago style avoids the use of artificial emphasis in any form, including italics, which are sometimes perceived by readers as a writer’s crutch and (heaven forbid) a result of careless editing. We are also conscious of the wide influence of e-mail etiquette, in which the use of all caps is criticized as the equivalent of shouting. I’m afraid there is rarely a place for all capitals in published work these days.”

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Goddess
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I don't like the way caps look for emphasis but that's a personal preference...good to know I won't be making that faux pas then, lol. I think I've done it once or twice on these boards and/or others & that was just me being very, very lazy & not using the italics tool (I always hate myself after I do it :P).

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:02 pm 
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I do this all the time in my writing. The main reason, I think, is because it is simpler to do all caps (for me anyway) than to click the I for italics, write want you want, then click I again to end italics. Now, I know what your argument will be Kally. "Use the shortcut! Simply press Ctrl + I silly!" I know that, but in the heat of writing, if I have to stop and think about what the shortcut is, I will lose my train of thought and poof! my writing session is over for that night :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:12 pm 
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The Scribe of Athero
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Marconis wrote:
I do this all the time in my writing. The main reason, I think, is because it is simpler to do all caps (for me anyway) than to click the I for italics, write want you want, then click I again to end italics. Now, I know what your argument will be Kally. "Use the shortcut! Simply press Ctrl + I silly!" I know that, but in the heat of writing, if I have to stop and think about what the shortcut is, I will lose my train of thought and poof! my writing session is over for that night :)

I agree re breaking the train of thought, Marco. Therefore, go ahead and use caps and exclamation points Then when you go to revise, and you are using your right (thinking) brain, change the caps to italics, or better still, just leave the word(s) in lower case. And take out 99.5% of the exclamation marks.

As you can see with what we did with "Forbidden Love," it isn't really a good story until after the revisions.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Goddess
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Marconis wrote:
Now, I know what your argument will be Kally. "Use the shortcut! Simply press Ctrl + I silly!"


Actually, in the heat of writing, I don't do caps OR italics (usually). I put them in later & generally, I only use italics for thoughts ;)

I try (note the "try") to proscribe to another author's advice (it might have been Watt-Evans...or someone else I hold in fairly high esteem) who said that they're a crutch. That if you feel like you need to use italics or bold (or, I suppose, in this case: caps) for emphasis then you're not wording things properly.

But occasionally I use italics anyway :P

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