118 – Emphasis in Writing

The Mythcreant Podcast
What’s this? Ariel has returned from the wilderness of freelance editing to grace our podcast yet again. She joins Chris and Wes for an in-depth discussion of emphasis in writing. How should writers make key passages stand out? How much is too much? Is bolding ever appropriate? We discuss all this and more. Plus, the secrets of the interrobang.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

We offer editing services from all the fine folks you just heard.

How to get the interrobang on your iPhone

Chicago Manual of Style

The Lightning Thief

I Am Number Four

Strunk and White’s Elements of Style

The Cask of Amontillado

The Gregg Reference Manual

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  1. Bryony

    There would be a lot of creative use of italics/bold/underlined text in written roleplays I’ve been a part of in Gaia Online. People put a lot of effort into making their post look special, and there are often rules stating speech or thoughts need to be indicated in a particular way. I think it’s partly to make it easy to pick out what they are responding to in their replies because the rereads are easier if you can scan what was said and what was just thought.

    I wouldn’t really consider those to be the pinnacle of writing, though.

  2. I, User

    Why did Five Books to Learn From disappear? It was here yesterday?

  3. Saumya Kulp

    Well, 3 exclamation points are better than 2. If you have 2 they’ll eat each other. But if you have 3 2/3 will have to team up to get the other exclamation point. Exclamation points don’t do that. But question marks do. They’re not so nice.
    That’s what my friend told me, at least.

  4. Saumya Kulp

    You shouldn’t put 2 exclamation points together because 1 will, I promise, end up eating the other. 3 means, however, that 2/3 will have to team up against the other and exclamation points simply don’t do that. That doesn’t work for question marks, unfortunately.

    In the book Counting by Seven’s, the protagonist thinks in quick paragraphs, but it has something to do with the odd way she thinks. I think she’s OCD. No offense intended. But is that okay?

  5. Leon

    I’ve read that this is how Russians use multiple punctuation to convey tone;
    ‘We’re… cousins?’
    ‘We’re… cousins!’
    ‘We’re cousins!?’
    ‘We’re cousins!!!?’
    ‘We’re cousins!!!’
    ‘You’re cousins!?
    ‘You’re cousins!!!’
    I’m told it’s “!” or “!!!” but never “!!”.

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