Typography of Orthography


Sorry if this is the wrong forum, but I couldn’t see any that’s obvious and hope posting in a forum named “Scrivenings” would be more tolerable than not!

Are commas, quotation marks, and even periods italicized along with the word(s)?

Would it be [size=150]“Meeeh, what’s up, Doc?”[/size] or [size=150]"Meeeh, what’s up, Doc?"[/size] (Notice, in the second example, the italicized opening quotation mark and [first] comma [though the comma seems indistinguishable with this typeface].)


I’ve always been of the mind to leave punctuation out of emphasis, unless it is a part of a larger range of emphasis. Here is an example demonstrating both aspects of that:

Refer to Rotten Tomatoes: How You Can Grow a Better Garden, for further information.

The emphasis is being used to share the name of a book, so the colon is italicised as it is a part of the book name. However the comma following the book title is not italicised.

So I guess my rule of thumb could be put as: if the punctuation is a part of the words around it, then it should be emphasised, but if it is a part of the greater sentence structure then it should not.

I was going to say, “that’s just me,” but I did a quick search and it turns out the Chicago Manual of Style has rules for this and they match what I just said. Of course, that’s just one stylebook though. :slight_smile:

Thanks. Another (related) question, please:

Is there some kind of typesetting software which intelligently adjusts kerning, particularly where an italicized question mark meets the closing quotation mark?? Can’t believe typographers didn’t factor such cases into their designs!!! :confused:

Does Scrivener handle any such duties? :slight_smile:

I would think that is more a function of the font. Some fonts I use handle the possibility of an italicised question mark followed by a closing quote mark. Others do not handle it so well. Minion Pro seems to do okay, as does the default Cochin. It would probably be difficult to automatically kern for something like that. Definitely not your garden variety text engine, for sure!

Hmm, I’m really curious, then…it’s 2014, and you mean to say we still need professional typesetters to self-publish our books?? If we want to look professional, anyway, and continue bringing credit to the ever more respectable choice to self-publish. Do so-called legacy publishers really still have human typesetters manually going over these things?? :open_mouth:

I’m serious. I’ve tried Garamond, Greorgia, Bookman, and of course Times New Roman. :unamused:

Maybe it’s the full justification that’s somehow throwing things off – though, of course, all books justify their text, right, and, again, this being 2014 A.D., I’d have imagined such menial details to have been all “geeked-out” by now! :neutral_face:

I’m probably the least qualified to discuss this, but I have not let that stand in my way before now. :smiley:

It might be that only the professional fonts offer that capability. The four typefaces you listed tend to not be the best for “professional.” With TNR, there are many variants and I wouldn’t use it at all. Is the Garamond from Adobe or is it another variant?

It might be helpful to try some others. I tend to use OpenType fonts. I have found the free font family known as Linux Libertine to be quite good: Linux Libertine (serif) and Linux Biolinum (sans serif). Linux Libertine Worth a try.

I second the use of Linux Libertine. I use it every day. And I have been studying typefaces for fifty years.

But but but … compiling to Linux Libertine looks completely weird!

I wanted to test what you are saying. I just compiled 279 pages with Linux Libertine (with Greek thrown in) and everything looks great.

Wait until you begin worrying about the problem of italicised periods. I mean, how can they tell? That’s when you really go crazy!