So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Little Help Here?

Here's the deal. When writing, if you use a word as a word (for instance the word word), you italicize it. But how do you show the plural of a word used as a word -- for instance, should you want to say that the second sentence in this paragraph has four word's?

Yeah, that's the best rule I can find online: italics, then a non-italicized apostrophe-s (or is that apostrophe-s?). [source: 1, 2, 3]

I'm leery of using the "it's on the internet" excuse, but I can't find it addressed in any of my grammar/punctuation/style books. Anyone have a Chicago Manual of Style handy and can help me out?

(I'm working on a story where this is an issue and the deadline is rapidly approaching...)



1 Snarky Remarks:

My Webster's Dictionary of English Usage seems to suggest using apostrophe s to make the plural of a word used as a word. But my AP style book says no and notes this is an exception to Webster's New World. The example in AP is: His speech had too many "ifs," "ands" and "buts."

I didn't see any rule about whether or not the 's' should be italicized, but AP tends away from italics because of format issues at lots of newspapers.
Blogger lindaruth, at 8:03 AM  

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