I thought the abbreviation of television was TV, but I read an article where the author used italic tv. Given the article is about the author's love for games, I am wondering whether tv is used to refer to the screen of gaming systems. Or there is no difference between tv and TV.

When I take stock of the collection I’ve accrued over the past eight years – hunting down classic games on road trips, reporting trips and vacations – what else is there to think about but the shame of it: the wasted hours on “Final Fantasy III” and “Super Metroid”, the winters alone in my bedroom sitting close enough to the tv to kiss it, the football games and parties that I missed?

  • TV is so well known that it's sometimes written in lowercase and is still understood by all.
    – ralph.m
    Jun 24, 2023 at 12:11
  • The vast majority of writers capitalise TV, but it's of no consequence if someone doesn't. Jun 24, 2023 at 13:09
  • 2
    As an English teacher, I'd mark "tv" incorrect for not being capitalized.
    – gotube
    Jun 24, 2023 at 16:58
  • I believe the increasing use of lowercase tv can be related to the use of the .tv domain for television and video related content. Use of lowercase letters in domain names is standard practice, even though they are technically case-insensitive.
    – barbecue
    Jun 24, 2023 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


Technically, TV should always be capitalized. If I am writing in an informal setting such as a text message, I would likely leave it lowercase. Writing it in italics does not change the meaning, and appears to just be an unusual choice on the part of the original author.

Italics are used to emphasize something that is important or to make it clear that something is a title, but they do not generally change the meaning of a word.

  • Italics are also employed in the use-mention distinction: Many is the time I have dreamed I could fly, but many appears to be cognate with Russian много. Nov 23, 2023 at 12:50

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