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Footnotes and formatting

When it comes to extraneous information, people do the stupidest things, and I swear, this sort of idiocy knows no bounds. Even on History IB/SL Internal Assessments, you’ll get parentheses intermixed with em dashes and [brackets] partitioning off some irrelevant information about Joseph Stalin’s economic policy1. You may scoff in wonder at my use of footnotes on RogerHub, but let me give you the full story before you dismiss them as a pretentious show of unnecessary formality. Often times, there’s information that’s not pertinent to a narrative or argument, but I want to include it for some reason, be it self-justification, disclaimer, literary citation, or further reading. Conventionally, I would wrap keywords in a hyperlink, or I would set aside an explanatory paragraph enclosed in brackets and italics. But in the spirit of a semantic web2, that just doesn’t feel right. It is, by definition, not part of the copy, so it should not be there, messing up the text with colorful links and senseless punctuation. Honestly, if you can come up with something better than footnotes to embed extraneous information, let it be. For now, I really don’t know why footnotes aren’t yet a built-in feature on WordPress.

Unrelated: I’ve just recovered an 8 year old laptop (2003) with a broken screen, useless battery, and 225MB of RAM. Now it’s running Debian Linux, playing The Workday Release3, and letting me type this onto WordPress. Sometimes I think broken things are the only things worth fixing.

  1. I don’t mean to bash on the example paper we got (the one about the Stakhanovite movement), but I had to come up with something that made me sound remotely intelligent.
  2. See my post on the semantic web.
  3. Specifically, this.

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Sun Feb 12 2017 03:58:07 +0000