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Let's say I'm writing a paper. In the introduction, I use some term informally, and then later in the text give an exact definition. Intuitively, I would use normal font for the informal uses in the introduction, and then italicize the term when it is defined. Is this usage correct, or should I italicize the first use of the term, and then simply use normal font when it is later exactly defined?

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closed as off topic by lockstep, Paul Gaborit, Tom Bombadil, Qrrbrbirlbel, zeroth Oct 7 '12 at 14:15

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Welcome to TeX.sx! I am not sure this is the best place for this kind of questions – perhaps English Language and Usage would be better. While it is good practice to ask a general question, perhaps a more precise example would be needed here. What do you mean by formal and informal uses? Is it a word that has a "common sense" meaning and a specific, somewhat different meaning in your field? – ienissei Jun 29 '12 at 11:33
IMHO, use emphasis for all occurrences until your term is completely defined. – Paul Gaborit Jun 29 '12 at 11:33
@PolGab: This is not a good solution. It would overemphasize the term in the text. – Mads Jun 29 '12 at 11:45
@Mads Emphasising the word when you define it sounds like a good idea to me: you want the reader to pay attention. Informal uses of the word should stay informal and have no particular emphasis. Similarly, you don't need emphasis after defining the word unless there is an extremely good reason for it, and that does not happen often. – ienissei Jun 29 '12 at 11:50
@ienissei: This is a good explanation. I think I will adopt that method in my paper. – Mads Jun 29 '12 at 11:56

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