Can I italicize an entire phrase for emphasis?

Can I italicize an entire phrase for emphasis? by Tony Garcia

Answer by Tony Garcia:

Itlaics are a writing tool that, and like any other tool, they can be overused to the point where their effectiveness is lost.

A common mistake for beginning writers is to put every word that they think should be even slightly emphasized into italics.

Now, obviously, I have no idea how many words are in your phrase, but I think you see my point. Excessive use of italics can easily become cringe-worthy, a signpost to the reader announcing, “Hey, pay attention! This is important!”

Think of it this way: if you feel you need italics to make your writing look active, or to strengthen your sentences, your writing probably isn’t strong enough to stand on its own without the aid of purely visual effects like italics.

I would suggest that you rewrite your prose and allow the reader to make his/her own decisions regarding what is or is not noteworthy. Save the italics for book and magazine titles, or where one word might be misinterpreted.

Can I italicize an entire phrase for emphasis?

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