What If We Make a New Convention?

I have always figured that I only need to mention if I add something to a quote: otherwise, what I put in my text was in the quote. So, with actual words, if I added them, I put them in square brackets: otherwise, you can assume I found them there.

Can't we do the same thing with italics? If I don't mention I added them, there they were. Why do we need to specify both "Emphasis added" and "Emphasis in original"?

Comments

  1. You should just adopt this and stick with it. If the convention is a specification in either case, yet you don't provide a specification, the reader will wonder what the lack of a specification means (after all, there are only two possibilities: it was there in the first place or it wasn't). The most logical solution is that a lack of a specification means that the italics were in the original.

    I never realized the convention was that you had to provide a specification in either case. Being blissfully ignorant, I've always done it the way you wanted to! And I think laziness might encourage a tendency toward adopting this method if people simply start doing it.

    -Bharat

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