Ok, this is ridiculous. Normally I wouldn’t post such a question here, but I’ve spent over an hour speaking (typing) with professionals, to no avail.

I’m writing the following sentence: “It would be great to work for such a reputable Fortune 500 company…” I believe the title of the magazine is simply Fortune, and they produce an index they call the Fortune 500. Do I italicize both Fortune and 500 in my sentence, or just Fortune (which is the mag name)?

I asked three HS English teachers and got three differing opinions on the matter! One said italicize both words, one said only Fortune (because that is the magazine title), and one said drop the italics all together because it is “so well known.” What’s the straight dope?

P.S. Italicizing only Fortune seems correct theoretically, but type it out and look at it. It looks… strange.

So you have these options

  1. Fortune 500
  2. Fortune 500
  3. Fortune 500

So I checked the New York Times database for a recent article using the phrase. It turned up an AP story.

It used option #3.