Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. What would you say to a translator who says that an author’s use of all caps for EMPHASIS should stand? I tried to invoke house style but she is claiming it is, well, LITERARY. I’d like to explain to the author and translator this looks AMATEUR at best, and to say, look, WE JUST DON’T DO THAT.

A. If it’s not a lot of text, I would just put it in small caps without discussing it further. If it’s a lot, I would press on in my arguments, e.g., “I feel I must more strenuously insist on the use of italics for emphasis instead of all caps. Chicago style avoids the use of artificial emphasis in any form, including italics, which are sometimes perceived by readers as a writer’s crutch and (heaven forbid) a result of careless editing. We are also conscious of the wide influence of email etiquette, in which the use of all caps is criticized as the equivalent of shouting. I’m afraid there is rarely a place for all capitals in published work these days.”