Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Part of "Part"

Today's example of "writing gone wrong" includes nary a misspelling, punctuation mistake or grammar goof. Can you figure out why I've included it? Hint: It's a style issue. One that leans to the right — and I'm not referring to political views.

Look closely at the third word on the bottom line. Why is the last letter italicized? Italic type is often used for emphasis, but I do not think that is the case here. Italic type also is applied to letters of the alphabet when they are referred to as letters, but is the t more important than the other three letters? Foreign words and phrases that are not widely used in English get the italic treatment, and errare humanum est. Titles of books, movies and the like are italicized, but we're not talking about The Hangover Part II in this case. Italics also can be used for words referred to as words, but I would think all parts of part are equal.

But that's just me.

er•ra•re hu•ma•num est [Latin] : to err is human


  1. Being a movie buff, I had to mention that Richard Gere's cat in "Runaway Bride" is named Italics. :) Loved this post! Found it fascinating being that I regularly use quotation marks when, come to find out, I should be using italics. You should add an "Ask Owen" section to your blog where people can write in and ask grammar questions. You know I would use it regularly. :)

    1. I’ve never seen “Runaway Bride.” He has a cat named Italics, huh? I’m “feline” pretty good about that. It has a nice ring to it. The cat’s name, ironically, would be written in normal (roman) type and not in italics. ;)