((I'll think of something starting with O for next week))
We of the Microsoft Word generation are used to being able to bold, italicise and underline our text at the touch of a button**. But are we using our new abilities for good or for evil?
I was reading a friend's travel blog and thinking how much easier it would be to read if he hadn't kept bolding random phrases and sentence fragments. It only made sense if I tried to imagine him reading the blog aloud, because he just bolded every part that he'd naturally emphasise while speaking.
According to standard usage, italics are properly used for references and for phrases in foreign languages. They can also be used to emphasise words or phrases. Boldface is used for captions on pictures or graphs, and for titles/subtitles. You don't normally find a lot of boldface text in fiction.
Of course, this isn't to say that they aren't tools available to writers if you want or need them! There is a convention in scifi/fantasy to use italics to represent telepathy or someone's thoughts.
How do you use bold, italics, and underline in your writing?
** to be fair, it isn't that hard to bold or italicise text on a typewriter either