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Including accents on foreign words is a nice touch, if only because it gives your sentences a prettier contour. That said, it’s not necessary to do so with borrowed words like a la carte, cafe, decor, jalapeno, and fiancee, which have become part of the English lexicon.

Italicize and accent most less common foreign words and phrases, like coup de grâce and schadenfreude. But remember our generally English-speaking audience. Don’t be pretentious.


If you don’t know the keyboard shortcut for the accent you need, you can find it in most word processors.

That said, it’s far quicker to copy and paste the correctly-accented word from internet search results.