You Have a Point There: A Guide to Punctuation and Its Allies

By Eric Partridge | Go to book overview

Chapter 16

MODES OF EMPHASIS

THERE ARE two ways in which to emphasize: by punctuation, italics, quotation marks, etc.; and by syntactical or stylistic device. Strictly the latter does not concern the purpose of this book; nevertheless I shall very briefly deal with it.


I:

PUNCTUATIONAL *

§ 1:

Italics

Emphasis by italics has been treated in Chapter 14, § 1 (p. 118). An additional example or two may help.

Why, man, you look ill!-Well, I don't feel ill. (Or: Why, man! you……)

It is one thing to promise, quite another to fulfil.


§ 2:

Initial Capitals

The use of initial capitals for semi-technicalities has been treated in Chapter 13, group XII, sub-group 4 (see p. 115): the capital letters invest these terms with some sort of importance, hence with some degree of emphasis: yet they do not afford true examples of emphasis-by-capitals.

Perhaps the most spectacular, certainly not the least reprehensible, use of capitals occurs in the letters of those gushing females who very often speak and quite often write in capitals, thus:

MY DEAR FOOTSIE,

I have Fallen in Love with the most wonderful Man. He is of the Strong Silent Type, but believe me, darling, he 's far from Dumb!

* Here, the adjective corresponding to 'Punctuation and Its Allies'.

-127-

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