English Punctuation: Italics, Capitalization, and Other Odds and Ends

Series index: English Punctuation Overview.


These miscellaneous aspects of writing aren’t technically considered punctuation, but most websites include them with punctuation marks (probably because they don’t know where else to put them). This post covers the following: italics, underlining, boldface, capitalization, accent marks, numbers, and other symbols (like the ampersand and the interrobang).

Italics, Underlining, and Boldface

Both italics and underlining are used to emphasize titles and other words, but italics are used much more often (underlining is used when italics aren’t possible). Boldface is also sometimes used for emphasis, especially for headings and new terms.

  • Boldface - covers the main uses of boldface.


Capital letters are used to distinguish proper nouns, to emphasize the beginning of a new sentence, and in some other situations.

Accents (Diacritics)

Also called accent marks or diacritical marks, accents are mainly used to clarify the pronunciation of certain letters in words borrowed from other languages.

  • Diacritics - explains when to use them and includes a short list of them at the bottom.
  • Diacritic - Wikipedia - includes a list of accent marks (with links to separate entries on each one) and information about their usage in many languages.


English has a number of conventions governing how numbers should be used in writing.


For more about other miscellaneous symbols, look them up on Wikipedia (also see the list of symbols in the box on the right side of the Punctuation page).