Quotations and Dialogue

Q. I frequently quote material that includes existing footnotes within it. If I don’t want to include the footnote in my own writing, can I insert [footnote omitted] in superscript in place of the footnote number to the original text?

A. The note number can simply be deleted. It adds no meaningful content and risks leading the reader on a wild goose chase for a note in your own text that doesn’t exist. Nor is it helpful to readers to know that you’ve deleted a footnote; such numbers are a distraction even in the original text, and many books are published without note reference numbers for that very reason (notes are instead listed at the end of the book by page number and key phrase in the text). If, on the other hand, you also want to include the text of the note, use a block quotation, preserve the note number, and present the numbered note below the quotation, preferably in a smaller type. See CMOS 13.7 for more, including how to handle parenthetical text references.