I'm quoting a sentence from Carl von Clausewitz' On War. He has part of the sentence italicized though:

Obstinacy is a fault of temperament.

Is it necessary to maintain his formatting? Ideally, I would like omit the formatting so it's consistent with the rest of the sentence that the quote will be placed in.

I know if I was adding italics/bolding for emphasis, I would need to indicate that the formatting was my own by saying something like "Emphasis mine". Is there a reverse of this though to indicate that I've removed emphasis (which seems to be his intent)?

  • I think the answer is it's fine to change formatting, but as I'm having difficulty finding it in the Chicago Manual of Style and I'm in a hurry at the moment, I'll just leave this as a comment.
    – levininja
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 19:44

2 Answers 2


You are correct in noting that it is common to add "Emphasis mine", or similar, if you add emphasis to a section of a quotation.

It is equally common to add "Emphasis original", or similar, if you retain the original italics or bold font.
That way it is clear to the reader that it is not you that is adding the emphasis.

If you wish to remove the emphasis from a quotation, check that it would not alter the original author's intentions. They put that emphasis there for a reason, you do not wish to misquote them.


I would suggest keeping it, but if you want, go right ahead and get rid of it. I would try something like "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. (Italicize removed)" or something like that. If you want to, go look it up, but people will most likely get it if you put down that parenthesis. I might be wrong, but people will get it anyway if you tell them what you did.

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