If I were to describe a sudden sound, in this example: Boom! Were I to put it in speech marks: "Boom!" Just like in a dialogue, or to do something else, in that case what?

  • Unless someone is saying, “Boom”, don’t put it in quotes. – Jim May 17 '16 at 19:37
  • Alright, but if we say the sound is made of a meteor hitting the ground, I should use some kind of punctuation right? – Fine-ish May 17 '16 at 19:50
  • You might choose to put that in italics: Boom! The meteor cratered into the ground producing a shock wave that knocked him to the ground. – Jim May 17 '16 at 19:55
  • "Bang!" went the tire. is perfectly valid. – Hot Licks Nov 6 at 18:22
  • @HotLicks I tried looking for examples where the object making the noise is referred to. Here are three examples that refute your comment: 1, 2, and this book intentionally leaves out the quotation marks in between other segments of speech. This book is in favour, but that does refer to a person making the noise, rather than an inanimate object. (I had to shorten the URLs because otherwise the comment would be over the character limit.) – ahorn Nov 7 at 7:43

Quotation marks should not be used for emphasis, only to indicate something that is spoken or quoted.

  • What should be used for emphasis? – sumelic May 17 '16 at 20:50
  • Italics, as Jim said. – ahorn May 17 '16 at 20:57
  • @sumelic If you can't use italics, bold or underline; I'd suggest using * or _ "around" the emphasized text... It's often used in plain text-files for emphasis. Strictly speaking; / = italics, *= bold and _ = underscored; but I think most prefer to use either * or _, and then as just "emphasized". So putting Boom! between two * should work... – Baard Kopperud May 17 '16 at 23:45
  • @BaardKopperud that only applies to a coding context, not a WYSIWIG context. – ahorn May 18 '16 at 11:40
  • Uh, the quotation marks are used to indicate the sound made by something. Just because it's not human doesn't mean it can't be quoted. – Hot Licks Nov 7 at 4:00

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.