If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks?

If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks? e.g. Everyone’s so intimidated by “big data.” Answer Italics are used for emphasis and to identify words as words. However, in this case, big data is not really being emphasized in terms of pronunciation, nor, as the … Read more

Is “well” an adjective?

I read a Cambridge advanced grammar in use and there’s one line says We can use sufficiently before adjectives to express a similar meaning to enough. Sufficiently is often preferred in more formal contexts: She didn’t play sufficiently well to qualify. (or…well enough to qualify.) I’m confused that well is an adverb so why do … Read more

Is there a name for text that reads the same upside-down?

This is similar to a palindrome but, instead of a word/sentence that reads the same forwards and backward, is there a word for words/sentences that read the same right side up and upside-down? See picture below where the word “yeah” is written in cursive: Answer That is called an ambigram. It is a typographical design … Read more

A word for decorations added to letters

Is there a word for the artistic decorations that are often added to letters in some type-faces / fonts (e.g. caligraphy, etc.) I’m thinking like a serif, but as far as I know, (I’m open to correction) a serif is a specific tail that’s added to some letters, whereas I’m looking for a word that … Read more

Is “to battle (something) off” correct?

In the passage Lesson 13 from “400 Must-have words for the TOELF” by McGraw-Hill, there is a sentence that I don’t understand. “According to legend, his arrogance invoked the wrath of God, who condemned the lost crew members to battle the waters off the Cape of Good Hope for eternity. I’m wondering that to battle … Read more

History and usage of the term “furore”

Furore entered the English language by the end of the 18th century to refer to a “wave of enthusiastic admiration”: 1790, Italian form of furor, borrowed into English originally in the sense “enthusiastic popular admiration;” but over time this meaning was eventually lost: it later descended to mean the same thing as furor and lost … Read more

How should the name of a series of books be formatted?

I know that you underline – or if you’re typing, you put the words in italics – the titles of books, and that you put chapters or quotations from a book in “quotes,” but do you do anything to the font of a series of books; for example, Ranger’s Apprentice? I’m using this in an … Read more

Name for making the first few words in a chapter small caps?

What do you call the style of making the first few words of a chapter (or book, article, etc.) uppercase? Here is an example from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye: To clarify, I’m not talking about the capitalized “I”, which is a lettrine/versal (thanks @ChrisH). It’s words immediately following it that I’m asking … Read more