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.
- Punctuation Pointers - includes a note on choosing between italics and underlining.
- Using Italics and Underlining - covers the main uses of italics and underlining.
- Armchair Punctuator - another guide to using italics.
- 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.
- The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation - a list of 14 capitalization rules.
- Capitalization - a good overview, including a quiz at the bottom.
- Economist Style Guide: Capitals - a whole section explaining which words to capitalize
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.
- List of English Words With Diacritics - also on Wikipedia.
- Typing International Accent Marks and Diacriticals - a very complete guide to producing accent marks on the computer.
English has a number of conventions governing how numbers should be used in writing.
- Numerals, Fractions and Dates - includes notes on American versus British usage.
- Armchair Punctuator - a complete guide to using numbers in general writing.
- Economist Style Guide - Figures - covers some other minor details.
- The Other Marks on Your Keyboard - includes a list of common typgraphical symbols and some notes on their usage.
- Punctuation Pointers - a short note on using the ampersand (&).
- Interrobang - Wikipedia - all about this new, rarely used punctuation mark created to combine the question mark and exclamation mark (for sentences ending in "?!").