Saturday, March 21, 2009

This kind of thing could end up in my dreamscape.

My author of the moment is a Vietnam vet and first-time author. I'm editing his 400+ page, heavily referenced book on Vietnam.

The structure of references (the sequence of their elements) isn't complicated; even most high school students have this knowledge. And after I read his bio (he has an advanced degree from an Ivy League school), I figured the end notes would be OK. We don't always get what we want, do we.

Here's an example: "I owe the reference to Dean’s compelling Shook Over Hell, 41."

Conspicuous by their absence: author's first name, complete book title, city and name of publisher, publication year.

And the right way: "I owe the reference to Eric T. Dean Jr.’s compelling Shook Over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 41."

While the writing itself isn't half bad, the end notes are my current cross to bear.

As the great philosopher Roseanne Roseannadanna would say, "Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something."