Quotations and Dialogue

Q. When presenting a Q&A with a note like “This interview has been edited for length and clarity,” how much can you edit the interview? Should you still use ellipses and brackets, or does that note mean these devices aren’t needed?

A. Such a note gets you off the ellipses-and-brackets hook. As for how much to edit, don’t do anything that might distort the interviewee’s intended meaning. If possible, share a final draft of the interview with the interviewee prior to publication. Interviews written and edited in collaboration with the interviewee usually won’t require any kind of editorial note. A previously published interview, on the other hand, is treated like any previously published source: omissions or clarifications would need to be signaled in the text with ellipses or brackets or explained in a note. For more advice, see CMOS 13.48.