Italics and punctuation
The Chicago Manual of Style is the bible for how text is presented in books. The Fourteenth Edition (section 5.4) says this: "Generally, punctuation marks are printed in the same style or font of type as the word, letter, character, or symbol immediately preceding them."
And that's the way it should be, in my view (in most of the examples that follow italicized text is also colored green):
Look out! looks right, whereas Look out! looks awkward. Same thing with "Say what?" looking better than either "Say what?" or "Say what?"
But now The Chicago Manual of Style has changed its mind. The new Fifteenth Edition (section 6.3 -- "Punctuation and font: primary system") delcares: "All punctuation marks should appear in the same font -- roman or italic -- as the main or surrounding text, except for punctuation that belongs to a title or an exclamation in a different font. This departure from Chicago's former usage serves both simplicity and logic. For an alternative system, see 6.5." These samples are given:
Smith played the title role in Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear; after his final performance, during which many in the audience wept, he announced his retirement.
Many editors admire Wired Style: it is both elegant and easy to use.
An Apache Life-way: The Economic, Social, and Religious Institutions of the Chiricahua Indians
Are you saying the wound was self-inflicted?
She is the author of What Next?
For light entertainment he reads King Lear!
The manual Online! is always at my elbow.
We heard his cries of "Help!"
Well, I don't like that at all. But the Fifteenth Edition's section 6.5 ("Punctuation and font: alternative system") doesn't give you the option of using the system from the Fourteenth Edition. Rather, it says: "According to a more traditional system, periods, commas, colons, and semicolons should appear in the same font as the word, letter, character, or symbol immediately preceding them if different from that of the main or surrounding text. In the first example in 6.3, the first two commas and the semicolon would be italic. Question marks and exclamation points, however, should appear in the same font as the immediately preceding word only if they belong to a title or an exclamation (see examples in 6.3).
So even if you rely on the "alternative system," Chicago now wants roman exclamation marks to follow italicized words -- and that (as seen here) just looks crappy! And what's up with roman question marks after italicized text? That looks wrong, too.
Hey, Chicago! Are you even listening? Doesn't it look better like this, with italicized question marks and exclamation marks? Yes, it does!
Hey, Chicago! Are you even listening? Wouldn't this look a whole lot better with italicized question marks and exclamation marks? Yes, it would!