Quotations

Q. I’m editing a manuscript in which the author wants to add emphasis to a lengthy quotation. The original already has several phrases in italics. Is there a proper and/or elegant way to add emphasis to an already emphasized passage without confusing the reader?

A. It’s awkward to add emphasis in this way, and I would discourage it. The only solution is to note “emphasis added” each time the author meddles. It might be better to rewrite, quoting the material in smaller pieces. That way you can provide emphasis in the way you introduce each bit, rather than litter a lengthy quotation with italics.