Revenge of the quote

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Thu Aug 16 13:23:26 UTC 2012

On 8/16/12 12:01 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Obviously, there are many nonfiction books in political science and
> recent history to which this generalization doesn't apply.  Bob
> Woodward's "The Brethren", and Gene Kranz's "Failure is not an Option"
> are two that I've read that I was able to confirm do not have end- or
> footnotes.  The current NYTimes best seller "The Amateur" by Edward
> Klein (about Barack Obama in the White House) doesn't seem to have end-
> or footnotes (although it does have a bibliography and list of
> interviews).  Neither does Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman's "The Return
> of Depression Economics".
> If the author decides to write a book without specific notes and
> citations, that doesn't make the author wrong (but it certainly may
> affect the perception of the book).
I think that depends. In magazine writing, journalists often use an
informal citation style:

Prestowitz's book Blah, Blah quotes Grove as saying "blabbity blabbity"

which gets all the info in there for an indirect source, which is what
we've been talking about re: Zakaria. In a book paired with a
bibliography, it would be just fine both legally and ethically. Endnotes
and footnotes ruin the flow of reading and so might not be used for a
book that really is trying for broad appeal and more readability. I flip
back to the end notes to read every single one in popular books by
Crystal, McWhorter, Lynch and now I'm doing it with _Is That a Fish in
Your Ear?_. Perhaps more normal readers don't. (Perhaps it's PTSD from
teaching Comp.)

---Amy West

(Honestly, I'm not surprised re: the larger story of plagiarism by
Zakaria: he's outputting *a lot*, and I think with such a volume you're
going to end up doing that either intentionally or unintentionally.)

(And, again, I apologize for stating the obvious. Still.)

The American Dialect Society -

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