View Full Version : Song title, punctuation & much more

09-30-2012, 09:23 PM
I've been trying to find an answer but haven't been successful. Example: You know the Bon Jovi song, “Living on a Prayer”? With Todd it’s more like living on a wing and a prayer.
Should 'living on a wing and a prayer' also have quotes & perhaps italics around 'wing'? Or should it have nothing at all? *scratches head* Thanks for any help!

09-30-2012, 09:37 PM
I would not add any additional punctuation to the modified version of the song title it's based on. Your reader will get it just fine without it.

Maryn, sure for once

09-30-2012, 10:24 PM
I'm also sure of Maryn's confidence in your original structure. However, I can see emphasizing wing with italics works, too.

Here's the origin of your version: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/on-a-wing-and-a-prayer.html

10-01-2012, 12:17 AM
Oh, I'm especially pleased to learn it originated with a talented screenwriter.

We watched a 62-year-old movie last night (I couldn't believe neither of us had ever seen "Sunset Boulevard"!) and I was struck by great lines dozens of times. It really does seem as if few present-day movies strive for more than something catchy and repeatable.

Maryn, derailing (oops)

10-13-2012, 09:10 PM
Nope, don't think you need itals or quotes. People will get it!

10-13-2012, 10:46 PM
The standard convention for referring to a song title is to place it in quotation marks, much like the title of a short story or poem or article (I covered this topic just this week in my English comp classes). Titles of works large enough to be published as stand-alones (novels or other books, magazines, academic journals, etc.) are italicized. Your example appears to be correct, and proper.


10-19-2012, 10:17 PM
Thank you all so much! You've helped a great deal.