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italics pl

  1. (typography, plural only) Letters in an italic typeface.
    There is no need to put the whole paragraph in italics.
    • 1786, Alexander Geddes, Prospectus of a New Translation of the Holy Bible from Corrected Texts of the Originals, Compared with the Ancient Versions. [], Glasgow: Printed for the author, and sold by R[obert] Faulder, []; C. Eliot, []; and —— Cross, [], →OCLC, page 95:
      [T]hey [the Catholics and Puritans] encumbered their verſion [of the Bible] with a load of uſeleſs Italics; often without the leaſt neceſſity, and almoſt always to the detriment of the text. In fact, either the words in Italics are virtually implied in the Hebrew, or they are not. In the former caſe they are a real part of the text, and ſhould be printed in the ſame character: in the latter, they are generally ill aſſorted and clumſy ekes, that may well be ſpared; and which often disfigure the narration under pretence of connecting it.
    • 1959 May, G. F. Fiennes (reviewer), “New Reading on Railways: British Railways Today and Tomorrow. By G. Freeman Allen. Ian Allan. 25s.”, in Trains Illustrated, page 271:
      Writing of cyclic diagramming, he speaks of ". . . the practical state of locomotives that pass through any number of engine and maintenance crews' hands in the course of a week's common user working, receiving love from none". The italics are mine.
  2. (usually plural but sometimes singular in construction) plural of italic: exaggerated intonation or some similar oral speech device by which one or more words is heavily and usually affectedly emphasized or otherwise given sharp prominence
    • Margaret Long
      [] was yapping, her silly voice fraught with italics.
    • 1906, W. J. Locke, The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne:
      a woman who has an irritating way of speaking in italics


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