I've read a few punctuation guides but am still having a very hard time differentiating between when inverted commas should be used over italics for certain words we reference but do not actually say or just repeat or think.
John says "unhealthy" in a line of dialogue: "This is becoming unhealthy."
Sarah responds by saying, "I don't want to hear the word 'unhealthy' any more."
I imagine that the above is ok rather than using italics?
2: John says something like, "We want to start a new life together."
Sarah replies, "Don't you dare say 'we'! You and the babysitter are not 'we'!"
Is the above ok rather than italics?
- In the 2 examples above, Sarah is referencing something that John actually said, but how about if she talks about something that noone has said.
E.g. "If I hear the words 'conspiracy theory' tonight, I will have to get drunk."
Is the above ok, or should italics be used instead?
"If I hear the words conspiracy theory tonight, I will have to get drunk."
- How about if words were written on a piece of paper and you later reference them.
E.g. Sarah reads a card that says: WELCOME TO THE PLAY AREA.
Later, she says to John, "This must be the 'play area'."
Is this ok, or should it be:
"This must be the play area."
- I believe that whenever you THINK something to yourself, then it should be in italics.
E.g. What an asshole, she thought to herself.
Is the above ok?
How about if it were:
Women think Oh, he's sweet. Men think Finally, someone who wants to sleep with me.
Is the above ok or should it be in inverted commas and why?
How about if you speak to yourself in your head, but don't speak: E.g. You are so weird she said to herself.
Is the above ok?
Thank you so much for anyone who can give advice about this - I've been tearing my hair out trying to get it right!