Headlines and Titles of Works

Q. Is it correct to italicize the word “Titanic” when referring to the movie, or do the italics of a ship name and movie title cancel each other out (assuming quotation marks don’t get involved)? Thanks!

A. Normally, the italics would cancel each other out, as described in CMOS 8.173, which recommends so-called reverse italics—that is, roman—for the name of a ship within the title of a book or other italicized title. But reverse italics wouldn’t work when the name of the ship is the only word in the title. Instead, use italics to refer to the movie Titanic just as you’d use italics to refer to the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic.