Is it acceptable or appropriate to use fonts, i.e bold, italic, in an email to an academic in order to do emphasise or organise the text ?
or would it be perceived as offensive ?
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Unless you go full crackpot (multiple colors, fonts, all-caps in places) I don't think it's offensive.
And I occasionally italicize a word for emphasis, but only in a long and carefully written email to collaborators where we are discussing science.
I just looked through a few hundred emails that I've received, and I found that
Draw your own conclusions.