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When people ask, answer, or comment, why must they keep using "Emphasis mine"? The section is bolded or otherwise emphasized so I feel that the statement is completely wasted. Am I missing some reason why it is used so often?

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 because this is an important thing for anyone to learn when citing. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Oct 18 '16 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It means this is my emphasis. You can't have any. :) \$\endgroup\$ – candied_orange Oct 26 '16 at 13:53
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We say "emphasis mine" alongside a quoted passage to indicate that emphasis inside the passage is not in the original, but was in fact added by us. It's shorthand for "I added the emphasis here myself".

We do this because emphasis in different places can change the meaning of writing, so it's important to note that any meaning read into the choice of emphasis is just part of us trying to highlight something, not some meaning that should be read into the original writing's meaning.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So basically its referring to a small change that you have made to the quote. That actually helps a fair bit, thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 17 '16 at 18:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. It ranges from "wildly inappropriate," to "career-endingly unethical," depending on the venue, to change anything at all about an original quotation you're attributing to someone else, without being very clear about what you've done and why. The "emphasis mine" is standard, and serves a similar purpose to an ellipsis. \$\endgroup\$ – Novak Oct 18 '16 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ See this one for a great example of how one sentence has 8 different meanings depending on the emphasis: english.stackexchange.com/questions/258653/… \$\endgroup\$ – MikeP Oct 28 '16 at 15:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MikeP Well, seven different meanings. Nobody ever established what the heck meaning 4 meant, and I don't think it means anything. :) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 28 '16 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Worth highlighting, perhaps, that the content that is emphasized is still part of the original quote, and only the format was changed by the referrer. I read this answer, liked it, then read the question and wondered if it were possible for someone asking the words of that question to believe you were saying the emphasis was added to indicate that the emphasized words was new material added by the referrer. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Reefman Jul 23 '18 at 1:50
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It's a common English writing convention. “Emphasis mine” means that the emphasis was added by the person using the quotation. This is as opposed to “emphasis original”, which is used to indicate that the emphasis is part of the original quote, not added by the later quote-user.

Like bracketing changes, inserting ellipses, and using sic, indicating who is responsible for the emphasis in a quotation is a way of preserving the integrity of the original quote and establishing the bounds of the accuracy of the quote.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, this isn't some RPG.SE convention, it's a standard quoting technique. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 17 '16 at 20:56

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