Footnotes: A sixth option

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ChrisGreaves
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Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Please see also "programming" versus "scripting"
Many of us meet "footnotes" for the first time in MSWord.
MSWord2003 provides two locations for footnotes (1) Bottom of page and (2) End of text.

I find myself in a situation (audio books) where a suggestion is made to place some of the footnotes at the end of the sentence, or at the end of a paragraph.
Discussion ensues on how the reader/listener's train of thought can be interrupted, and how even more so the person listening to the audiobook can be thrown off track.

I wonder why one should not place a footnote at the start of the paragraph or sentence.

We do have extremely long footnotes at the start of a book, titled "Preface", "Acknowledgements", and "Notes to the third edition" and the like.

I think of it this way: If the footnote is a one-or two word item, then the footnote "Bonavista, Newfoundland" at the head of the paragraph can be read into a human's short-term memory long enough so that when the reader/listener arrives at (1), the short-term memory provides the location without distracting the reader/listener.

Longer footnotes "Although born in England, raised in Australia, and arrived in Canada from a gig in Singapore, his heart was always in Telegraph Creek, British Columbia, where a grant from the Tahltan tribe provided time and resources to write this book" can continue to appear at the foot of the page, or at the end of the book.

If I were writing a footnote-processor i would consider all six options for the user.
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Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 01 Feb 2022, 08:39, edited 1 time in total.
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StuartR
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by StuartR »

I think the word "foot" gives a clue about where footnotes should be placed
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by PJ_in_FL »

StuartR wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 12:44
I think the word "foot" gives a clue about where footnotes should be placed
:thumbup:
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Leif
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by Leif »

StuartR wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 12:44
I think the word "foot" gives a clue about where footnotes should be placed
I think Chris :shootfoot:
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by SpeakEasy »

>I wonder why one should not place a footnote at the start of the paragraph or sentence.

<pedant mode: on> Because then it wouldn't be a footnote, which is generally defined as "an additional piece of information printed at the bottom of a page". <pedant mode:off>

:wink: :wink: :wink:

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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by ChrisGreaves »

StuartR wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 12:44
I think the word "foot" gives a clue about where footnotes should be placed
Sorry Stuart. You are quite correct. I should change "footnote" to "annotation" throughout the post, just in case a pedant happens to stroll by (operative syllable "ped").
(later) Wow! Four responses already! I didn't know we had so many pedants.
(segue for JG to pronounce that there are now actually five responses).
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Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 13 Jan 2022, 14:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by HansV »

Word has a feature called Comments. They are displayed in a "balloon" near the text:

S1049.png
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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 13:37
Word has a feature called Comments. They are displayed in a "balloon" near the text
OK Hans. "Comments" rather than "Annotations" :evilgrin:

Word2003 has Comments, but they seem to be awkward, not yet inflated into balloons. Or else I am doing something wrong :rtfm:

That said, the off-Forum discussion on annotations comments focused around microphone-recorded copies of text, and the impact on position of comments to the listener. I think that in audio the position is crucial.
Loosely speaking, in audio we have a serial process, as distinct from the random-access process of a book. With a book one's eyes can quickly flick to the foot of the page, then return to the text, whereas it would be awkward, even with a digital MP3 file, to locate the footnote and then return to the text.

The discussion of aural placement made me think of placement options in a word-processing document.
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by HansV »

Show Word Comments in Balloons - section "How To Show Balloons in Word 2003"
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by StuartR »

If you just want a note that moves with the paragraph then it's easy enough to use a subscript character at the relevant place in the paragraph, and the same subscript character at the start of the note. You can use "Keep with next" as appropriate to keep the note on the same page as the paragraph.
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 15:06
Show Word Comments in Balloons - section "How To Show Balloons in Word 2003"
Untitled.png
Excellent! :clapping:
Now I know how to get something working in Print Preview (which I never use) to see something I don't need to see (Balloons) regarding something I have to date found no need for (Insert Comments).
Life has never been this good :music: :thankyou:
Cheers :grin:
Chris
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Charles Kenyon
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by Charles Kenyon »

Footnotes / annotations are intended to be something that a person with enough interest can follow up. In audio books I can't think of a good way to do them unless there is a way to go back and forth or skip annotations. I probably spend an hour or more a day listening to audio books and the footnotes can be frustrating, especially if they involve equations or calculations. That stuff is not intended to be comprehended auditorially, IMO.

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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Charles Kenyon wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 16:34
That stuff is not intended to be comprehended auditorially, IMO.
Thanks Charles.
I agree. A month ago I wrote WhyBooks after years of discussing why we so much prefer hard-copy to eBook, when reading and writing are not evolved skills but speaking and listening are evolved skills. I came to the conclusion that hard-copy books allow me freedom of reference when compared to serial (audio) books.
That's mainly why I prefer spinning platters to a (cable to a) cassette player, too!
Chers
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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by kdock »

Try reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman. His footnotes are dizzying in number and length and were often tangential at best to the story at hand. I lost the thread of the book entirely while driving, and fell asleep to it while sitting in a chair. In print, they're very funny (IMO) and added a lot to the reading experience.

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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

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kdock wrote:
14 Jan 2022, 19:03
... His footnotes are dizzying in number and length ...
"(5) Then the reader arrives at page 446, a footnote of some 370 words (depending on your version of MSWord).
This footnote is easy to read and is rich in data, but at 180 seconds of MP3 file, I feel that before the listener reaches the end, they might well have assumed that we are back in the main text
."

The link is to a digital image via Google Books, and may take a few seconds to load.
https://archive.org/details/jsbach00wid ... 6/mode/2up

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Re: Footnotes: A sixth option

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
13 Jan 2022, 12:42
Many of us meet "footnotes" for the first time in MSWord.
In another forum far, far away I wrote "[footnotes] occasionally are split between two pages (typically even-to-odd page so that as a hard-copy book they span as a block across the bottoms of two pages)." This fact should remind us that footnotes were designed for hard-copy material (books, memoranda) and strictly speaking, in my not so humble opinion, have no place in an audio recording. How would Schweitzer have presented this had he been addressing a seminar?" might be a good question.

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