Expressing thoughts in plain text (from Re: Italics get used to express important semantic meaning, so unicode should support them)

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at
Mon Dec 21 08:17:23 CST 2020

Dominikus Dittes Scherkl wrote as follows.
> Also even with italics allowed (and maybe bold or othere style 
> features) this does not indicate _what_ was special about the 
> highlighted words. Was it emphasis? Or indicated a thought? Or a 
> special meaning of an ambiguous word? Or whatever else? - all this 
> would need further agreement or conventions, which are not 
> standardized so far.
In my novels I express a character's thoughts, as contrasted with his or 
her spoken words, by using single quotes for thoughts and double quotes 
for spoken words. In fact, the desktop publishing software that I use 
automatically substitutes smart quotes, provided that the font has them: 
The font that I usually use for text has smart quotes.
As far as I am aware this is just my own way of writing, though it is 
possible that I saw it somewhere years ago and it was in my memory 
somewhere and that memory influenced me.
It may perhaps be non-standard, but it seems to work fine. I publish my 
novels myself in pure electronic format.
William Overington
Monday 21 December 2020

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