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10.6. Italics

The use of italics is restricted to:

book, film or play titles;
names of periodicals (‘the’ in connection with the title should be lower case roman (normal type) unless it is known that the article belongs to the title as in The Times);

words and short phrases from foreign languages: Länder, carte blanche; except for proper names, names of persons, institutions, places, etc. and not usually for foreign quotations.

Not all foreign words are italicised, however; a number have been assimilated into current English and are set in roman:

café, alias, detour, etc.
names of ships;
formulae in mathematical works;
Authors should take particular care to distinguish between l (lower case letter l) and 1 (the figure 1), between O (capital letter O) and 0 (zero) and between the roman numeral I and capital letter I.
scientific (Latin) names of flora and fauna;
the foreword, epilogue, publisher’s note and, in general, any section of a work which was not written by the author.

Use quotation marks to cite quotations from books and periodicals rather than italic. The simultaneous use of italic and quotation marks must be avoided.

Latin abbreviations and phrases

Latin should be used sparingly as even the common phrases are often misused or misunderstood.

Write all Latin abbreviations in roman.
e.g.; et al.; et seq., ibid.; i.e.; NB; op. cit.

Latin words should usually be printed in italic (e.g. ex ante), but certain common Latin phrases take roman (refer to the New Oxford dictionary for writers and editors for italic or roman style).

Examples of roman:

ad hoc, ad infinitum, inter alia, per capita, pro forma, status quo
Last updated: 31.1.2011
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