New answers tagged formatting
Contrary to what the other answers claim, capitals do not need to mean shouting, but can quite simply mean that what is quoted was written in capital letters. Example: Despite this and other examples, I still stand by my comment that says to avoid all caps. The example would not have changed its meaning if it had read: In one location, Schiavone ...
Small caps can become a temporary convention for something distinct but similar to normal communication. In the same way that ALL CAPS has become symbolic of shouting, other character formatting can be used to imply meaning. In many alternative fiction works, italics is used consistently to symbolize non-verbal telepathic communication. In these cases, ...
All caps is for shouting. Small caps could be used as a stylistic device at the beginning of a chapter to look nice, but beyond that I'm struggling to think of where they'd be appropriate. Maybe to quote a poster? For the T-shirt example, if the text on the shirt itself is not in all caps, I'd italicize it (or put it in quotes).
I'd use ellipses for pauses, dashes are usually used for interruption. "I found this - " "That doesn't matter, look what I found!" As opposed to: "She... She's dead."
Adding to the answers by Lauren Ipsum and CLockeWork. I'll just look at the second example: Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It was — a whale! Was it an elephant? No, elephants didn't frequent beaches. It was ... a whale! It seems to me that the dash as a sign of a sudden change works well in the ...
I might use an M-dash for the whale example, because it's startling. For the gold watch, that's more of a thoughtful pause, so it would take an ellipsis. Also related on this site: Using dashes in writing dialogue and How not to overuse ellipsis?
em dashes are usually used to denote an interruption or sudden change — whether in dialogue, thought or narrative — ellipses are for pauses, again in all respects. 'I just don't see why— 'I don't care what you think,' Johan barked, turning from me before I could protest. 'She was just...' His face turned pale as his memory returned to that ...
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