That's right. See 5, below. Note, you are not alone in the confusion of things.
Originally Posted by jiang
As the eminent critic I.A. Richards noted, quotation marks and italics serve many purposes.
- Sometimes they show merely that we are quoting and where our quotation begins and ends.
- Sometimes they imply that the word or words within them are in some way open to question and are only to be taken in some special sense with reference to some special definition.
- Sometimes they suggest further that what is quoted is nonsense or that there is really no such thing as the thing they profess to name.
- Sometimes they suggest that the words are improperly used. The quotation marks are equivalent to “the so called.”
- Sometimes they indicate only that we are talking of the words as distinguished from their meanings. “Is” and “at” are shorter than “above.” “Chien” means what “dog” means, and so on.
There are many other uses. This short list will suffice to show how heavily we overwork this too-servicable writing device. Some of these uses accordingly are taken over by italics, but there again ambiguity easily arises. We italicise for emphasis (of several kinds) as well as to show that we are talking about words themselves or about some special use made of them. In speech, of course, many of these subtleties can be handled by intonation and pausing, though not with high uniformity or equally well by all speakers.