Religion in classical history
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21-08-2014, 07:32 PM
RE: Religion in classical history
Quote:When footnotes are separate, you are not obligated to read them


Matter of preference, I suppose. When important information to the story is placed in footnotes - especially if those notes are then put at the end of a chapter or, even worse, at the end of the book, I find it enormously annoying.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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22-08-2014, 10:18 AM
RE: Religion in classical history
(21-08-2014 07:32 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:When footnotes are separate, you are not obligated to read them

Matter of preference, I suppose. When important information to the story is placed in footnotes - especially if those notes are then put at the end of a chapter or, even worse, at the end of the book, I find it enormously annoying.

The point is that it's not really important information -- that's why it's in a footnote instead of in the main text. Footnotes contain "accessory information" -- stuff that may be interesting or useful to some people, but which is not essential. When they put the footnotes at the end of the chapter (or at the end of the book), they are emphasizing this point. They want you to read the main text and not obsess about the footnotes. It really is a matter of preference -- but it's your preference. You can't blame the author for it.

Mortimer Adler, in his How to Read a Book, specifically advises skipping footnotes and other peripheral information until a second reading (assuming that the book is worth a second reading). I have found this to be good advice. You will never get the point of the main text if you're constantly interrupting yourself to read footnotes.
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