Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You Can Footnote That?

Footnotes have a pecking-order that seems to follow from the age of the medium. Books are good, as are articles, especially those from law reviews that have "stood the test of time." Judicial opinions are similarly terrific, even, it seems, when quoting from an opinion for factual propositions that the judges probably had no better grasp of than you or I. But, as you descend into the Sarlacc Pit of information in society, learned eyebrows will frown on your sources. Web sites are suspect, and blogs, although gaining in popularity, are still more likely than not to be trusted.

Surprisingly, however, at the very bottom of the Pit is the oldest form of medium--the "conversation." I am reminded of this because I have just read a footnote that said "Inferred from remarks to the author." Not told, but "inferred from." I don't really know what that means. Do you?


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