I'm having a bit of trouble regarding whether to include the word "the" inside a quoted words.
For example:
None was known when the Great Cataclysm had happened on the other hand.
Should I emphasize it like this:
None was known when the “Great Cataclysm” had happened on the other hand.
None was known when "The Great Cataclysm” had happened on the other hand.

Other than that, I have one more extra question regarding emphasizing.
Sometime I see a lot of emphasizing with italic and quotation.
I know that the one with quotation are words that's unfamiliar and weird without being quoted.
As for the one with italic, it is oftentimes used in simple word being emphasized like to-be, adverb, and many other.
But is it always been the case like this?

Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


At Grammarbook com, https://data.grammarbook.com/blog/quotation-marks/italics-vs-quotation-marks/,

Nori K. says: August 24, 2014, at 5:07 pm My understanding was that, the first time you use, say, a term of art [edit: i.e. a specialised word/phrase, name, etc., or one that has a meaning or significance different from the usual one], you set it off in quotation marks. For example, you might write that a “record of survey” is a document in which a surveyor records material discrepancies with earlier surveys. When you use the term after that, my understanding is that you don’t keep using the quotation marks.

To which the response is

“... the Oxford Guide to Style, which is more useful, says, “Use quotation marks to enclose an unfamiliar word or phrase, or one to be used in a technical sense. The effect is similar to that of highlighting the term through italics … Most often quotation marks should be used only at the first occurrence of the word or phrase in a work; thereafter it may be considered to be fully assimilated.”

Thus, in your case, there should be a sentence explaining the Great Catalclysm, e.g. In 20,000 BC, the “Great Cataclysm” occurred: the Great Cataclysm was the event that destroyed Atlantis.

Following this statement, and in your example, it will therefore be “None was known when the Great Cataclysm had happened on the other hand.”

The the is not capitalised unless it is the first word of the title (or, obviously, the sentence.) This is because the the is simply a required determiner:

“I have told you about the Great Cataclysm and why I do not think that there will be another Great Cataclysm” <- Note how unnatural “there will be Another Great Cataclysm” looks.

  • Thanks, you answer my dilemma :) Aug 23, 2020 at 11:36
  • The word the would belong inside the quotation marks if one or more others believe the definite article (indicating uniqueness) is warranted, and accordingly use it as part of the phrase, but the writer in charge of the punctuation harbors at least some doubts that the cataclysm in question is unique after all. One harboring such doubts might even punctuate it as "the" Great Cataclysm. Aug 23, 2020 at 12:23

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