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Formatting Titles on Twitter and Facebook

Since you can't use italics on Twitter and Facebook, you have to choose some other way to format titles. Here's how Grammar Girl readers voted.

By
Mignon Fogarty,

 

I constantly stuggle with how to format book titles and TV show names on Twitter and Facebook. I prefer Chicago style, which says you italicize titles of major works.

I confess that I've broken my own rule about being consistent. For example, sometimes I put book titles in ALL CAPS, which is the publishing industry internal style and sometimes I put book titles in quotation marks, which is Associated Press style. No matter what I do, I occasionally get complaints from people who think I'm doing it wrong.

 

I decided to see what everyone else does. Here's the result of a poll I did on the Grammar Girl Facebook page.

People overwhelmingly prefer quotation marks, so that is what I'm going to use from now on.

These were the number of votes:

  • Quotation Marks: 152

  • No Formatting: 15

  • All caps: 14

  • Flanking underlines: 11

  • Flanking asterisks: 6

My favorite thing about Google+ is that you can format text.

Related Article: Capitalizing Titles

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

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