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I've seen some passages use italics, others just use single/double quotation, or they use quotation with italics. So I'm a bit confused as to what the actual rule is regarding this.

So when describing what a person sees written on a sign, what is the correct format for describing what they see?

For example a sign reading: Georgetown County Fair. Which format would be correct?

They approached a large sign reading 'Georgetown County Fair'

They approached a large sign reading 'Georgetown County Fair' (single or double quotations?)

They approached a large sign reading Georgetown County Fair

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  • What is the difference between A & B? – Edmund Frost Jul 5 '16 at 6:17
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    To be honest, i saw all three versions used in different books, and it really didn't matter much – RazorFinger Jul 5 '16 at 10:28
  • Small caps is also an option – Mac Cooper Jul 5 '16 at 10:44
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Have the Viewpoint Character Take Action

Bill approached the sign and read it: Georgetown County Fair. He scratched his head. "Georgetown? I thought this was Mapleville."

Use italics for the sign if possible or use single-quotes.

Even If You Don't Use the Word 'Read', It Works

Notice how if you have the viewpoint character take the action, you don't even have to tell the reader that the character read the sign and it still makes sense.

Bill approached the sign: Georgetown County Fair. He scratched his head. "Georgetown? I thought this was Mapleville."

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