>So I’m almost finished getting my book manuscript ready to ship off to the press. Yup, that’s right, I’ve rewritten the introduction (not from scratch, mind you) and even had Victorianist colleague read it for matters of form and clarity and intellectual excitement (gotta grab that reader!). And I’ve just been finishing up the formatting clean-up; in the process of doing that, I decided to do a search for all uses of italics because I know I have a wee bit of a tendency to abuse them.
Man, do I ever. It took me an hour to go through every chapter and get rid of them. For crying out loud, you’d think that a professor of literature would know how to emphasize a point with syntax or maybe style without having to resort to italics. But no, not I. It seems italics are to my writing what my hands are to my talking – I can’t communicate without them. (Once upon a time, some four and fifth graders in a summer enrichment course I was teaching challenged me to teach without my hands. They asked me to lean against the wall with my hands behind my back. It didn’t work. I resorted to using my shoulders for emphasis.)
I am, of course, exaggerating the italics here. But you should’ve seen them – man there were a lot of them. Well, at least I can search and replace italics – not so much the hands problem.