Italics: Italicizing foreign words

June 1, 2006: Issue 141

Don’t italicize foreign words and phrases that appear on the SIM Word List or in the main section of Web 11.
an antique bergère
a sense of déjà vu
a glass of sake

Do not italicize foreign language words not found in Merriam-Webster or other standard English dictionaries—particularly in food content. (updated 6/26/23)
Following anti-bias guidelines: If italics are supposed to mean that something is not a mistake, but rather unfamiliar, italicizing some words ends up setting them apart/othering and gatekeeping what’s considered “worth the mainstream knowing.” Writing the genus of a plant or animal is the only exception to this.

Don’t italicize foreign words that are part of a proper name.
the Place de l’Etoile in Paris
the couple’s summer house, Casa de la Playa
Foreign words often include accent marks. Find a list of common accent marks and how to make them on a Mac.

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