To Beat a Grammarian: Bold Lettering

To Beat a Grammarian: Bold Lettering


Wow! Looking in on this one, I was genuinely taken aback. Turns out quite a few of us use this baby wrong, but I can see where the disconnect happens. First off, a word emboldened in text pops out and grabs attention like nothing else, so you think, hey, why the hell not? Well, there seems to be more to it than you’d think.

1) Chapter Titles

Placing your title in bold is often done and is looked upon as a fine way to use this tool.

2) Table of Contents

It is also okay to strengthen the contents of your book, or so I’ve been told.

And here’s the kicker: beyond that, you shouldn’t use it!


Now you may be saying, then why did you just use it in the sentence above. Easy! Bold text is a tool used much more often in non-fiction writing. For writing like this, it is okay. It emphasizes and highlights important points. However, when it comes to fiction, you’re not making a presentation or a list of facts and things that might need recalling later. In fact, as I’ve been reprimanded by quite a few, bold should never be used in the actual text of a book. Go figure!

So there you can see why so many get it wrong. We see blogs and letters that toss emboldened text every other line (a no-no in of itself), but if you think hard, only the rare book ever uses it. Instead, most often, it is replaced with italics, which is an entirely different discussion. As for now, though, our current one is done.

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