View Full Version : How would you write this?

General Joy
08-02-2006, 07:09 PM
In my novel, I'm kind of stumped on how to write something... one of the characters says to another (regarding handwriting analysis):

"You know, if you cross your Ts like that, it means you are presumptuous."

So how do I convey that she's saying the letter T? Is it right the way it is here? Do I italicize it, write it upper case or lower case, have an apostrophe or not?


08-02-2006, 07:23 PM
I don't see a need for italics, quotes or capitalisation. The context is clear.


capital tee's?

08-02-2006, 07:25 PM
I think you're correct in using T but I'd say "You know, if you cross your T's like that, it means you are presumptuous."

Tee's makes me think of golfing :)

But let's clarify -- I'm grammatically challenged, myself. So wait until smarter people chime in before you make a decision !

08-02-2006, 07:34 PM
You obviously mean a lowercase "t" so you would use an apostrophe to indicate plural: t's. If it was a capital letter, you can use either Ts or T's. No italic is needed.

At least, I think you mean the person is talking about lowercase t's and not how someone crosses capital T's (or Ts! :-)

And I better mind my p's and q's.

08-02-2006, 08:39 PM
Chicago Manual, 12th ed., sec. 6.5:

Abbreviations with periods, lowercase letters used as nouns, and capital letters that would be confusing if s alone were added form the plural with an apostrophe and an s:

[i]x's and y's

General Joy
08-02-2006, 10:00 PM
That clears it up-- thank you!! :-)