As seen on “View From The Porch”

I admit that I don’t have a satisfactory answer to this question of Tam’s:

Lying in bed this morning, half-awake, I was suddenly gripped with a nagging concern over how to denote the title of a blog in writing? What does the style guide say? I haven’t checked yet, but are we supposed to italicize them, like an album or periodical (Instapundit, National Review,) or do we put them in quotes, like a song or essay (“The Daily Kos”, “The Uplifters Try It Again”)?

My own practice has been inconsistent over the years: I used to italicize faithfully any blog names I encountered, but I gradually drifted away from that, and now I tend to leave them as is. I don’t even have a good excuse for that, since I am generally conscientious about italicizing book titles and enclosing book chapter titles in quotes. (Same practice with record albums and “Track 4.”)

If nothing else, this demonstrates that I’ll probably be spending several millennia in purgatory reading the AP Stylebook. Or maybe the Fake AP Stylebook.


  1. McGehee »

    2 April 2012 · 10:29 am

    Hmmm. I try to italicize movie and book titles and the names of newspapers and magazines, so I suppose consistency would suggest I do so for blog titles as well — but I generally don’t, except when I use my own blog’s name on my own blog.

    But that started with blogoSFERICS, which wasn’t even italicized all the way through. And not even all of the names I’ve called my blog (formally and in public, at least) have warranted the treatment.

  2. CGHill »

    2 April 2012 · 10:35 am

    The standard at Time for many years was to italicize all magazines other than its own, which would be rendered in small caps. This was, I thought, handier than the Entertainment Weekly workaround, which involves a whole line to the effect of “…who, like EW, is owned by Time Warner.”

  3. McGehee »

    2 April 2012 · 12:52 pm

    Yeah, complying with Time’s styling got slightly easier with CSS, though only where the span tag was allowed. For instance, it doesn’t show in the preview here, and until I click “submit comment” (or should that be submit comment?) I won’t know if it’ll work in your comment section.

    I’d be surprised if it did, actually.

  4. McGehee »

    2 April 2012 · 12:52 pm

    I am not surprised.

  5. fillyjonk »

    2 April 2012 · 12:58 pm

    I guess that since I have to be so compulsive about it in journal article manuscripts (not that I’ve ever cited a blog, yet), I tend to be pretty lax in my casual writing. I usually use quotation marks because it’s more of a pain to italicize. And I usually cite by the person’s name, if I know their name.

    But at least I’m citing, right?

  6. Jeff Brokaw »

    2 April 2012 · 7:54 pm

    Seems to me that once they threw out the baby with the bathwater by dropping the requirement for two spaces after a period — even in Word docs that will get converted to pdfs and are therefore suitable for printing, and which are, most importantly, not html documents and will never be rendered as such — the Internet has pretty much ruined the idea of style forever and ever. Thanks, Al Gore!

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