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Bold is the single-color equivalent of highlighting. The eye will be drawn to and read boldface words before starting to read the main text, which is why italics are recommended for simple emphasis— from a distance they don’t draw as much attention, but still signal increased importance to the reader.

That's the way I've always understood it too. Italics for light delineation, and bold for important delineation.

I've just never heard of bold as yelling, and am interested to know which cultures consider that to be so.

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