When Do I Use Italics for Titles?

In academic writing, use italics for the titles of books, long pieces of choreography, newspapers, plays, and movies.

In general, the titles of long works of art should be italicized.

Title of a Book

When Sook Nyul Choi, author of Year of Impossible Goodbyes, arrived in the United States, she found it difficult to communicate in English instead of her native Korean. For the first couple of years she lived in the United States, she says, “My Korean-English/English-Korean dictionary never left my hands.”

Title of a Long Piece of Choreography

The Soviet Union respects its ballerinas. During World War II, some Soviet soldiers freed a village from the invading Nazis. In a cottage, they found a photograph—damaged by bullet holes—of famed ballerina Galina Ulanova dancing Swan Lake. A Soviet soldier wrote her to say that they were taking good care of the photograph, and an orderly had been given the duty—during lulls in the fighting—of placing flowers in front of it each day.

Title of a Movie

Agnes de Mille’s father was William de Mille, a playwright, scriptwriter, and movie director. (He was also the brother of director Cecil B. De Mille.) As a writer and director, he understood how to reveal character. For example, in the movie Nice People a streetwalker eats dinner at a gentleman’s house. Before she begins to eat, she carefully cleans the silverware with her napkin—something that would be a necessity in the greasy spoon restaurants where she would normally eat.

Title of a Newspaper

In 2008, Darlene, the daughter of Tucson Weekly columnist Tom Danehy, was involved in a contest with Jessica, one of her college volleyball teammates. They competed to see who could drink Starbucks coffee in the greatest number of states. One rule is that the person has to actually be in the state. Another rule is that the person has to keep the Starbucks receipt as evidence. Darlene once went to Vermont to buy Starbucks coffee, having been disappointed by missing Vermont on a previous trip to New England. Her father went with her, and while he was eating a roast beef sandwich, a female vegetarian asked him, “How can you eat that?” He replied, “The bread makes it difficult. I wish there were some way I could hold the beef together with two pork chops.” She laughed, then moved to another, further-away seat.

Title of a Long Play, and Title of a Newspaper

Actor John Barrymore married poetess Michael Strange, then appeared in her play Clair de Lune. Many critics wondered why Mr. Barrymore would appear in such a macabre piece, but only Mr. Whittaker of the Chicago Tribune headlined his review “For the Love of Mike.”

Title of a Book

A visitor to the house owned by the parents of Yoshiko Uchida, author of Journey to Topaz, slipped and fell down the front steps outside. Therefore, her mother took action and painted PLEASE WATCH YOUR STEP on the four steps—one word per step. Unfortunately, while painting, she put the words in the wrong order, so that visitors read STEP YOUR WATCH PLEASE while descending the steps.

Title of a Movie

When she was growing up, ballerina Darci Kistler was asked to appear in a scene in the movie The Turning Point, which starred Mikhail Baryshnikov. Unfortunately, as she and her family discovered when they went to see the movie, Darci’s scene was cut.

Title of a Play

While the Old Vic Company was performing Twelfth Night in Philadelphia, problems arose because members of the cast frequently got lost between the dressing rooms and the stage in the large, unfamiliar theater, forcing the other cast members to improvise while waiting for an absent actor. While Judi Dench was onstage as Olivia, she said her line, “Get ye all three into the box-tree. Malvolio’s coming down the walk.” Actor John Neville made her laugh when he whispered, “Wanna bet?”

Title of a Long Dance

Monica Lera, a former member of the Opera House Ballet, remembers a time when she and other dancers played children in Act II in La Bohème and were required to carry food onto the stage. Because the food was real, tasty, and free, and because the dancers were living on low wages, they nibbled on the food before bringing it in, reasoning that no one in the audience could see that a bite or two had been taken out of a slice of ham or a cream cake. Of course, the singers on stage did notice, and in a low voice would joke to the dancers: “The rats have been at this. I shall complain to the management.”

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Above & Beyond: Denver, Colorado, Police Department Officer Troy Smith & Officer Ryan Vogel

Here is a 22 March 2015 post from the Denver (Colorado) Police Department Facebook page:

“ABOVE & BEYOND: OFC. SMITH & OFC. RYAN

“Late Friday night, March 13, 2015, Denver Police — District 6 Officer Troy Smith and Officer Ryan Vogel responded to the 400 block of W. Colfax Avenue on a welfare check. When they arrived on scene, they met a man who was with his wife and 6-year-old daughter. The man explained that he was going through a hard time, and couldn’t make it in Denver. He explained that the following day, he was planning to return to a neighboring city, but did not have anywhere to stay for the night. Not being from Denver, the family did not qualify for a hotel voucher. Not wanting the child to be left on the streets, the officers took them to a nearby hotel to see if they could get them a room. The hotel staff explained that they could not provide a room for free, so the officers paid for the room with their own money.

“The generosity of these officers ensured the family had a safe, warm place to stay their last night in our city.”

On the Facebook page, a few people wrote comments recounting good deeds by police officers:

‪1) Pam F Black wrote, “I received an emergency phone call in the middle of the night about my mom [who] was 2 hrs away [and] started headed down 1-95 [and] got to a town 40 min from hospital […] I was on empty, stopped at a gas/restaurant to try to find help [but] everyone just stared at me, I was crying but a police officer pulled my car up to a gas tank and put 20.00 of gas in my car…. I will never forget his kindness, my mom died 5 days later […].”

‪2) Sara Correll wrote, “I live in the small town of Wabash, IN. A couple of years ago there was a young man traveling through our town with his dog. They were homeless and trying to get to some family out west. I was unaware of the fund that local police have for emergency lodging, but someone I spoke to told me to contact them on his behalf. I did and an officer came and told us that the man could stay one night at a local hotel. We loaded the young man, his dog, and some food we got them in our van and followed the officer to the hotel. When we went to register him, we were told the dog could stay for an additional fee. Having just spent the last of my cash loading him up with supplies, I wasn’t sure how we would pull that off. But the officer said not to worry about it and pulled cash out of his wallet and paid the fee. That young man was so grateful for a warm place to sleep, knowing his dog was safe with him. I will never forget that officer’s generosity.”

‪3) Brian El Patrón Jeter wrote, “About 2 years ago my grandpa was going crazy because he didn’t have his nerve medicine and was coming down from it and we called the police and they came and she [asked] us what was wrong with him and we told them and they went up to the pharmacy and paid for my grandpa’s medicine, almost $100. They helped us out big time because at the time we had no money. So grateful for those God-sent police officers.”

Source: Denver (Colorado) Police Department, “ABOVE & BEYOND: OFC. SMITH & OFC. RYAN.” Facebook. 22 March 2015

http://tinyurl.com/p2tbjhf

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Good Guy Fitbit

CustomerForLife

Source: 10_96, “So I destroyed my fitbit (my own dumb fault.) Contacted their customer service to see if I could get a discount on a new one. They just shipped a new one to me, free of charge! No hassle at all!!!” Imgur. 31 March 2015

http://i.imgur.com/nX0QApw.jpg

Redditor lild1425 commented, “I’ve had to do this once. They’re about as good as you can get.”

Source: 10_96, “So I destroyed my fitbit (my own dumb fault.) Contacted their customer service to see if I could get a discount on a new one. They just shipped a new one to me, free of charge! No hassle at all!!!” Reddit. 31 March 2015

http://tinyurl.com/ncsgjxk

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ThatPastyWhiteGuy: “Some People are Just Born Fabulous”

Fabulous

Source: ThatPastyWhiteGuy, “Some people are just born fabulous.” Imgur. 30 March 2015

http://imgur.com/gallery/2DgPvUk

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David Bruce: Practical Jokes Anecdotes

By David Bruce (Practical Jokes)

© 2015, David Bruce, All Rights Reserved

Lynn Collins played Kayla Silverfox, the love interest of Wolverine in the 2009 action film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Work on the movie started immediately. She says: “When I got the job, within 72 hours, I was on a cliff in my underwear kissing Hugh Jackman in New Zealand. I had no time to prepare.” One “problem” arose during filming: Mr. Jackson told her that her outfits weren’t skimpy enough to appeal to Wolverine. Ms. Collins responded, “[Expletive deleted.] OK. Whatever.” Mr. Jackman then told her, “So, we found something for you. We put it in your trailer. Can you please try it on?” Ms. Collins found the new outfit—it was a definitely skimpy silver Spandex dress that did NOT cover the essentials that a dress usually covers. She put on the dress, and with some creative adjusting got it to cover the essentials, but when she opened the door to her trailer and peeked out, Mr. Jackman and lots of other people laughed at her. Mr. Jackman then said, “April Fool’s.” Mr. Jackman liked her response to the practical joke: “I love that you put it on and didn’t slap me in the face.

On July 6, 1936, 17-year-old Bob Feller got to pitch in an exhibition game for the Cleveland Indians as they played the St. Louis Cardinals. Bob used his blazing fastball as he struck out Leo Durocher in three pitches. Yes, Bob’s fastball was blazing, but another thing that helped him was an occasional lack of control that allowed the ball to go toward the batter instead of the catcher, as previous batters had learned. After striking out, Leo went to the dugout and hid behind the water cooler while yelling at Bob, “You can’t hit me from here!” Bob was capable of joking around as well. Later, he used to attach noisy—but harmless—bombs to the cars of guests attending parties at his home. Some bombs made a bang when the owners started their cars, and some bombs that were attached to the tires made bangs as the cars traveled down the road.

Paul Newman and Robert Redford starred together in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, and they were friends. As a joke birthday present, Mr. Redford sent Mr. Newman a totally demolished Porsche. Mr. Newman had the car compacted into a 1-foot metal cube and then had it placed in Mr. Redford’s living room—like a piece of sculpture. Mr. Newman enjoyed driving racecars, and he once had the logo of his racing competitor Bob Tullius painted upside down on a garbage truck and then driven around the racecourse. Mr. Tullius got back at Mr. Newman by persuading a couple of Georgia police officers to pull Mr. Newman over and threaten to detain him because of his crime of “impersonating an actor.”

The Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin were, as you would expect, practical jokers. When they were in vaudeville, the Marx Brothers gave Mr. Chaplin a free ticket to their show. He showed up, but all during their act he ignored them and read a newspaper. Mr. Chaplin then gave the Marx Brothers free tickets to see him, but the Marx Brothers gave the tickets to some Hasidic Jews. Mr. Chaplin thought that the Marx Brothers had dressed up as Hasidic Jews with long beards and black hats and black clothing, and he performed magnificently, but the Hasidic Jews weren’t into comedy, and they left in the middle of his performance.

While ill in a hospital, Robert Benchley had a doctor who walked into his room each morning and asked, “And how are we this morning?” Being a humorist, Mr. Benchley asked a friend to bring him some glue, which he applied to his posterior. He then applied feathers from his pillow to the glue. The next morning, when the doctor asked him how we were doing, Mr. Benchley replied, “I don’t think we’re doing so well,” and showed the doctor his posterior. A different friend smuggled a jar of live guppies into the hospital and put them in his bedpan, making his nurse’s life more exciting.

Senator Griffin was the equipment manager for the Dodgers. When the team was playing an away game, very often he and a friend would play a practical joke on hotel personnel. After checking out, he and the friend would hail a taxi, and when the taxi came Mr. Griffin would say (loudly, so the hotel personnel could hear him), “By the way, did you turn off the tub?” The friend would reply, “I thought you did.” Mr. Griffin would then shrug and say, “Doesn’t matter. By the time the water gets to the elevator shaft, we’ll be a hundred miles from here. Go ahead, driver.”

British celebrity Jeremy Beadle was known for his pranks. For example, he used to go to work, stand out of the sight of other people, and imitate birdcalls. When he met Tony Elliott, founder of the magazine Time Out, he made a memorable entrance. He somersaulted into Mr. Elliott’s office, stood up, and grabbed his (own) crotch—something that Mr. Elliott calls “a very characteristic gesture” for Mr. Beadle. Mr. Elliott remembers his late friend fondly: “Jerry was just such great fun to be with. He had an enormous amount of time for everyone.”

Pianist J.W. “Blind” Boone owned a watch that cost $1,000, an enormous amount of money at the time. He used the watch to play a practical joke on children, whom he told that the watch could foretell the future. In 1888, he told one group of children that the watch had told him that Benjamin Harrison would defeat Grover Cleveland and become President of the United States. In fact, Harrison did defeat Cleveland, and so the children believed that Blind Boone’s watch could predict the future.

David Garrick, the famous 18th-century actor, once entered a coach, but the coach driver refused to move until three other passengers had climbed aboard. Therefore, Mr. Garrick surreptitiously got out of the coach three times and ostentatiously—appearing to be three different people—got aboard it. Thinking the coach was full, the driver drove off.

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Free PDF book: Honey Badger Goes to Hell — and Heaven by David Bruce

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David Bruce: Charity Anecdotes

By David Bruce (Charity)

© 2015, David Bruce, All Rights Reserved

When J. P. Morgan decided to attempt to buy the Carnegie Steel Company, he asked its President, Charles Schwab, to approach Andrew Carnegie, who owned most of the company’s stock. Mr. Schwab did so, and Mr. Carnegie asked for a night to think about whether he wanted to sell the company. The next day, Mr. Carnegie gave Mr. Schwab a piece of paper on which was written the amount of money he wanted for the company: $480 million. Mr. Schwab showed the paper to Mr. Morgan, who looked at it and said, “I accept this price.” Mr. Carnegie’s share of the selling price, by virtue of his stock ownership, was approximately $300 million, a huge amount now, and an even huger amount in 1901, when Mr. Carnegie sold his steel interests. For the rest of his life, Mr. Carnegie gave away much of his money to good causes. When he died, his estate was worth $23 million. Before dying in 1919, he had given away $324,657,399 — that much money is worth nearly $4.5 billion in year 2000 dollars.

Some rabbis were collecting money for their yeshiva. They planned to visit a man named Barbuhin to ask for a donation, but when they heard that he ate simple, inexpensive food, they decided that he would probably not give them much money, so they would visit his home last — if at all — to ask for a donation. However, when they visited him, he told them to tell his wife to give them a measure of gold coins. His wife did exactly that, giving them a heaping rather than a level measure. The rabbis were surprised at Barbuhin’s generosity, and they explained why they had felt that he would not give them much money. Barbuhin explained, “I have the right to be economical for my personal needs, but not when it comes to fulfilling my Creator’s commandments.”

When Danny Thomas was trying to become a successful comedian, he prayed to St. Jude for help, and he promised, “I will build you a shrine where the poor, helpless, and hopeless may come for comfort and aid.” He kept his promise by founding the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which opened in 1962. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, it serves children suffering from serious diseases such as Hodgkin disease, leukemia, sickle-cell disease, and many others. At St. Jude, no one pays for treatment. Insurance pays part of the cost, and whatever insurance does not cover is paid by the hospital and by an organization that Mr. Thomas founded to raise funds for the hospital: the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities.

When in Jerusalem Myriam Mendilow started Lifeline for the Old, a series of programs for the elderly to give them work and help them earn respect, she knew that she didn’t want it to be just a handout. Therefore, when she started a Meals on Wheels program, they charged the elderly a fee of about one-fourth of the actual cost of their meals. What did they do whenever someone couldn’t pay? Ms. Mendilow explained, “We write it down and say they owe it to us. Even if they never pay, we don’t want to give anybody the feeling that they are just being doled out charity.”

Francis Hodgson Burnett, author of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, grew up poor, and after she became rich and famous, she used much of her money to help poor children. One organization she supported financially was the Drury Lane Boys’ Club, which gave boys a place to play off the street. When the Boys’ Club needed a larger meeting room, she found a house, part of which she rented and furnished for the use of the Boys’ Club. She also gave money to London’s St. Monica’s Home for Crippled Children and bought flowers and gifts for the children.

Many churches have trouble raising funds. Rev. Steve W. Caraway, who is the pastor of University United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, once reported to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news about our pledges. The good news is: we have reached our goal. The bad news is: you still have them in your pocket.”

“To me, Paul Newman does activism the right way. He makes delicious popcorn, salad dressing, and marinara sauce and then mentions in small print that the profits from this enterprise are going to charity. He sneaks it by you instead of ramming it down your throat, running his whole operation with a truly cool hand.” — Dennis Miller, The Rants.

In 1985, musicians Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young founded Farm Aid to raise funds for family farms as opposed to big, industrialized farms. The money they raise goes to farm organizations, service agencies, and churches. Mr. Nelson signs every check that Farm Aid sends out to one of these organizations.

A man once woke up J.P. Vaswani in the middle of the night and gave him a large sum of money for the needy. Mr. Vaswani asked the man why he had not waited until morning to give him the money. The man replied that he was worried that by morning he would have changed his mind about giving away such a large sum of money, even to help the needy.

As a Cardinal in Venice, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (later to be Pope John XXIII) once was shocked that a priest had given only 100 lira (a very, very small amount of money) to a poor person. He said, “A gift must be of some use,” and advised that the priest should have given the poor person at least 1,000 lira.

The fourth pillar of Islam is to fast during the month of Ramadan annually. This focuses the mind of followers of Islam on Allah — and it encourages the giving of help to people who never have enough to eat in any month.

In 1948, Jean Carroll did a benefit for the United Jewish Appeal. Her greatest applause came when she said, “I’ve always been proud of the Jews, but never so proud as tonight because tonight I wish I had my old nose back.”

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Free PDF book: Honey Badger Goes to Hell — and Heaven by David Bruce

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David Bruce: Acting Anecdotes

By David Bruce (Acting)

© 2015, David Bruce, All Rights Reserved

Jennifer Love Hewitt acquired her middle name because when her mother, Pat, was studying speech pathology in college, her best friend was a beautiful woman named Love. She acquired her first name because when she was born, her older brother, Todd, thought that she might want a more normal name because “Love” was a weird name. His parents allowed Todd to choose his sister’s first name, and because he liked a girl named Jennifer in the neighborhood, he named her “Jennifer.” Of course, Love (as she is called) became a famous actress, an occupation that led to some interesting experiences. For example, in 1994 she had her first on-screen kiss in the TV movie The Bryds of Paradise, which was filmed in Hawaii. To get the kiss right, she and her co-star had to work at it — they practiced kissing in some bushes until they could kiss well enough for the filming of the scene. Love says, “I had never kissed anyone before in my whole life, and I was scared half to death.” Later, when she was a cast member of the TV series Party of Five, her character frequently kissed the character played by Scott Wolf, who played a teenager but was in real life 10 years older than the character he played. Love said at the time, “Wow, I’m the luckiest teenager alive — kissing an older man everyday and getting paid for it!”

In 1972, film director Michael Winner made the film Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson. In it, the “hero” is a man whose family is attacked, and who then becomes a vigilante. Mr. Winner and Mr. Bronson had made a movie titled The Stone Killer together, and Mr. Bronson asked Mr. Winner, “What should we do next?” Mr. Winner said, “Charlie, I’ve had a script for some time called Death Wish. … It’s about a man whose wife and daughter are mugged, and he goes out and kills muggers.” Mr. Bronson said, “I’d like to do that.” Mr. Winner asked, “The film?” Mr. Bronson showed that he was the perfect person to star in the movie by saying, “No, I’d like to kill muggers.” By the way, when Mr. Winner directed Orson Welles in the movie I’ll Never Forget What’s ’isname, Mr. Welles complained, “Michael, you’re shooting me from below. That will make me look fat.” Mr. Winner comments, “Orson would have looked fat if you’d shot him from a helicopter.”

Script supervisor May Wale Brown was very impressed by the professionalism shown by Henry Fonda in the making of Gideon’s Trumpet, which was a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie. In the movie, Mr. Fonda used a pair of wire-rimmed glasses in his portrayal of the character he was playing. His own real glasses had heavy rims because they contained a hearing aid that he needed due to his old age. In a scene with Fay Wray, the camera focused on Ms. Wray, and Mr. Fonda was not, of course, in her close-ups. However, Mr. Fonda said his lines well, and he continued to wear the wire-rimmed glasses. When Ms. Brown told him that he could wear his own glasses (she did not want to mention the hearing aid), Mr. Fonda replied, “I want Fay to see the Gideon character when she looks at me. It’ll make it easier for her.”

Some actors such as Chris Cooper act with reserve, using mainly their eyes to show emotion. Very often this emotion appears only on the big movie screens, not on the video monitors that many directors use. For example, during the making of Seabiscuit, Gary Ross, the director, would look at the video monitor, and then say to Mr. Cooper, “Y’know, I want to see a little more.” Mr. Cooper would reply, “Please just go see the dailies on a big screen.” Mr. Ross did, he saw the emotion he wanted, and he apologized to Mr. Cooper and then added that the next time he said “y’know, I want to see a little more,” Mr. Cooper should “just tell me to shut the f**k up.”

Harrison Ford, of course, is one of the most successful movie actors ever. Early in his career, he played a bellhop in a movie, and a VIP at Columbia said to him, “I’ve got to tell you, give it up — you’re never going to make it.” The VIP then told him that he had seen Tony Curtis deliver a bag of groceries in an early movie, and when he saw Tony Curtis, he knew that that was a movie star. Mr. Ford replied, “I thought that you were supposed to think that that was a grocery delivery boy.”

Comedian Bert Lahr worried about other actors trying to steal a scene from him, so when he was a star other performers were under orders not to move when he was speaking. Once, he complained to a theatrical producer that a certain actor had been moving, but the producer denied that. Mr. Lahr said, “You’re wrong. Tonight he was moving his facial muscles.”

Many actors, including Ryan Reynolds, who starred in the movie Definitely, Maybe, had a hard, penniless time breaking into show business. For a while, Mr. Reynolds and a friend lived in a cheap motel in Los Angeles, and he drove around the city in a Jeep that had been stripped by thieves and therefore lacked a few luxuries — including doors.

Paul, Joe, Mark and Stephen McGann are all brothers, and they are all actors. Constantly, each of them is mistaken for one of his brothers. Paul points out an advantage of these cases of mistaken identity: “I can always say, ‘Thank you, so glad you liked it.’ Or if they didn’t like it, I can say, ‘Oh, that was Stephen, actually.’”

Actress Jessica Lange has won two Oscars, and her advice to anyone who is nominated for an Oscar is to have a few words that you can say “just in case” you win. She also says that the best speech ever given by a winner was very short. Tommy Lee Jones said, “Thanks for all the work.” In Hollywood, getting work is very important.

“Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” — George Burns.

Download free eBooks, including books for teachers, by David Bruce here:

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Romance Books by Brenda Kennedy (Some Free)

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Free PDF book: William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: A Retelling in Prose by David Bruce

https://davidbruceblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/free-pdf-williams-shakespeares-measure-for-measure-a-retelling-in-prose-by-david-bruce/

Free PDF book: Honey Badger Goes to Hell — and Heaven by David Bruce

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