Manuscript: How to Indicate Underlining?

In traditional manuscript format, underlining is used to indicate italics.

What do you use to indicate underlining?

(I want a pseudo-Wikipedia entry to look like a Wikipedia entry, where the links are underlined. Obviously, since it’s only a manuscript, the “links” will be dead, but they need to look like links.)

Now that everybody’s got italic fonts, I’d just assume that underlining meant underlining, or it was a link. Which is, you know, underlined. In traditional manuscripts, it would be a separate code for the typesetter, just like we use separate codes here. Underlining gets a bit complicated on the older typesetting machines because they didn’t have a underlined font, but instead just had the underline character like a typewriter. You’d set the type, then run the print head back to the beginning of the type to be underlined and hit a bunch of underlines, just like on a manual typewriter. So, there’d be several hunks of code scattered about that amounted to something like:
[remember this spot 1]Type to be underlined[backspace to spot 1]____________________
and then resume normal type.

Well, I’m trying to retain the traditions, so I use underlining to indicate italics.

(Yeah, I know, welcome to the 19th century, Mr. Dickens…)

But, seriously, how would Hemingway, say, or Updike have indicated a section to be typeset as underlined?

Kind of fighting the hypothetical, but I don’t think they’d do that. People using early typewriters underlined things because they couldn’t italicize, and that’s how they signaled to their typesetters that they should italicize that part. We just have a distorted impression of what underlining means, like it’s some sort of emphasis, kind of like italics but not as much, and what it actually meant to these guys was “I’d really like to italicize this, but I can’t, so here’s this instead.”

A writer of Hemingway’s caliber who wanted more emphasis would use words to convey that, if italicizing wasn’t enough.

That’s quite possible: the technology of the epoch where manuscript formating rules were created didn’t support underlining in the final printed book.

Now I’m curious: are there any noteworthy instances of underlining in published books? It would startle me to learn there were none, but I certainly can’t think of any.

I may have to fall back to hand-notes in the margin!

(Heh: does MS Word support notes in the margin? I can make notes that only appear in the word processing application, for my own convenience, but can I make notes that appear in the margin in the printed page? Ah, well. Hand-written notes may have to serve.)

Case cites in legal documents would underline the parties, like People v Whatisname (1985) 23 US 128. I just don’t know how they’d do it back in the day; when I was working as a typesetter at a legal publishing company, we had a ginormous list of all the codes we’d use to mark things up in Word Perfect, a few years pre-XML.

IIRC, I think it was standard to use a wavy underline to indicate that the text should be set with an actual underline.

(ETA: Although, Wikipedia article on Underline says a wavy underline was used to indicate bold-face. Maybe it wasn’t so standard.)

yeah, you just tell it to Print Mark-Up when you go to print it and it prints out the comments. It also underlines things if you want-little underlined U next to the italics symbol.

Oh! I learned the use of the (hand-marked) wavy underline to indicate “awkward phrasing or construction.”

Ah! I see, now you mention it, how to print the Mark-Ups. Cool! Thank you!

I don’t understand what you’re saying, though, about a “little underlined U next to the italics symbol.” Can you dumb this down a bit for me?

ETA: I did have the really brilliant idea of actually inserting hyperlinks! I want my text to look as if it’s got hyperlinks…so why not actually do that! The links are “dead” – they don’t go anywhere – but they look real, because they are real!

Alas, nope: when I go to convert underlining to italics, it strips the underlining away from the hyperlinks.

There still exists an entire set of editing/proofreading marks used to indicate notes and instructions on manuscripts.

According to the 1976 Webster’s Secretarial Handbook I keep by my desk, the way to indicate underlining is to underline. The mark for italics is one underscore and write “ital” in the margin. Boldface is indicated by one underscore and “bf” in the margin. Two underscores for small caps and three underscores for all caps.

I’ve seen some slight variations on particular marks, but nothing so unique that a good editor or typesetter wouldn’t be able to figure it out.

I think it worth noting that in the days before desktop publishing (say, prior to 1980) underlining in book and trade publishing was really difficult. Sufficiently difficult that it just wasn’t done. Thus, proofreaders (the people) could easily use this difficult-to-do in print notation to represent something that was easy-to-do in print, italics.

For those old enough to remember, like me, try to imagine how a Linotype or Intertype operator would underline something. Yowza! And their employer would discourage the practice as well. Waaaay too much time spent for a marginal, and little understood, practice. Nope, italics it was.

BTW: I dislike underlined type. For you authors and graphic designers out there, italics provide the emphasis needed without disrupting the page color. Remember, books are not the internet and there are no links in books.

It’s true that there are no links in books…but there is certainly a tradition – John Varley, David Brin, etc. – of making text in a book resemble a computer screen. That’s what I was after.

If there’s no actual underline character available, rather than the method I listed above, it would be:

Enter text to be underlined
Return to the beginning of that text
Lower the font down to noticeably tiny
Scroll down a little bit
Enter about eighty million periods.
Scroll back up.
Set the font back to normal.
Prepare for the editor to whine about the underline being a half point too heavy or light or too high or too low or… just… wrong, somehow. Fix it!