For Sticklers – When to use italics
Im Englischen gibt es feste Regeln, wann Sie etwas kursiv schreiben und wann nicht. Diese Bestimmungen werden allerdings auch von Muttersprachlern nicht immer beachtet. Glänzen Sie mit der perfekten Anwendung der Kursiv-Schreibweise.
Native speakers and non-natives alike are puzzled about when to use italics.
Italic type was invented in the 15th century, and since then it has been used to make certain words stand out from the surrounding text.
You use italics:
1 for the titles of books, newspapers, CDs, films – Many companies subscribe to the New York Times. Earlier this year the newspaper had a review of The Office, a BBC comedy. Exception: When you talk about religious books like The Bible or The Koran, you do not use italics.
2 to emphasise certain words – What can we do to improve communication in the company? We asked for the goods before Christmas, not after.
3 for foreign words and phrases – I explained to our English visitors that Saumagen is just a kind of sausage.
4 to write the names of ships, aircraft, etc. – The Titanic was built in Dublin.
Note: Don’t use italics for foreign words that are well established in the language, for example ad hoc, de facto, status quo, vis-à-vis, realpolitik.