Citation form as a social norm
Ray Ward of the (new) legal writer posted a wise blog entry here. He says he will try to pursue excellence in his writing without overemphasizing the trivial. I agree with him.
He cited my post on the "tyranny of the inconsequential"--my term for the trivial aspects of citation form: spaces, abbreviations, commas. They don't matter much--in reality--but people will judge you by them.
I just re-read a comment on that post by Ian. He brought a more sophisticated view to the issue:
Sadly, cite form is an esoteric code of social norms and signifiers. For better or worse, it has much to do with notions of sophistication and professional hierarchy.True and well put. I guess this is, at bottom, what I was getting at in writing about the tyranny of the inconsequential. I'm just not that smart.