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In the following quote:

“We try not to be overly flashy when taking solos,” band leader Ricardo said. “The principles that come to mind are ‘don't blow all your cookies in the first bar’ and ‘keep it simple, smarty-pants’ — when we adhere to those concepts, we see (and hear) the benefits.”

... should the two "principles" be single-quoted (as they are above), or italicized, as below:

“We try not to be overly flashy when taking solos,” band leader Ricardo said. “The principles that come to mind are don't blow all your cookies in the first bar and keep it simple, smarty-pants — when we adhere to those concepts, we see (and hear) the benefits.”

... or ...???

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    Whatever floats your boat. There is no rule, as far as I know.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 21:29
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    If you say they are principles, not quotes, you are not quoting them, and italics looks good. Commented May 8, 2022 at 1:36
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    The short answer is: Consult your editor. If you have no editor, do whatever you think is best. If you don't know what's best, why are you writing? Commented May 8, 2022 at 16:00
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    @Yosef If they're reasonably non-trivial and someone else (or even you yourself on an earlier occasion) came up with them, arguably they're quotes every time they're mentioned. But there are quotes and quotes (not to mention the superscripted commas). Commented May 8, 2022 at 16:29
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    @JohnLawler: I'm not the writer, I'm the proofreader / quasi editor. I did, though, alter what was written so as not to divulge the true nature of the paragraph. Commented May 9, 2022 at 13:48

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