Italics, quotation marks, underlines, plain old capital letters—when it comes to writing titles, the rules can feel like a confusing mess. Do you italicize book titles? What about movie titles? And for goodness’ sake, what should you do with pesky things like TV shows, short stories, or Youtube videos?
With so many different kinds of media, it’s easy to get lost in all the rules. Let’s demystify them, shall we?
English is a pretty convoluted language. Even when things seem straightforward, exceptions pop up to turn regular rules upside down.
Throughout the history of the English language, we’ve pulled in words from all kinds of different sources and integrated them into regular language. For the most part, we’ve been okay about standardizing things—generally, to make something plural, all you have to do is add an “s” to the end.
But here’s a question for you: what’s the plural of “fish”?
Do you like delicious, large, fresh, round, red apples? Or do you prefer crunchy, long, orange, locally grown carrots?
Whatever your produce preferences, I bet you don’t like red, large, delicious, fresh, round apples or locally grown, orange, long, crunchy carrots.
If you’re confused about this, you’re not alone. J. R. R. Tolkien ran into this little-known quirk of English grammar when he first began writing.
Of all the nuances of grammar in the English language, this is my greatest pet peeve. No, it’s not “its vs. it’s.” It’s not “there, their, and they’re.” It’s not even the Oxford comma.
Let’s talk conditional sentences.