In English, sometimes words and phrases are slanted to the right--the use of italics. Effective writing requires the use of italics appropriately. The following shows how to use italics effectively:
(1) Use italics for titles.
e.g. The film The Interview has caused much controversy.
e.g. Have you read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace?
(2) Use italics for foreign words. The English language has acquired many foreign words, such as chef from France, and spaghetti from Italy, that have become part of the English language and they do not require to be put in italics. However, many foreign words still require to be out in italics.
e.g. Gato is a Spanish word for cat.
e.g. Balance is expressed in the concept of yin and yang.
(3) Use italics for names of aircraft, ships, and trains.
e.g. Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage.
(4) Use italics for emphasis, but avoid its overuse:
e.g. It is easy to find out how you can avoid credit card debt, but it is difficult to actually do it.
(5) Use italics for words, phrases, letters, and numbers used as words.
e.g. The alphabet b and d are easily confused by young children.
e.g. Do you know the difference between allude and delude?
e.g. Many people consider 13 an unlucky number.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau