Friday, May 15, 2009

You know you're procrastinating when . . .

. . . after removing all other possible distractions, you reach for the new MLA Handbook, look at the citation formats, and say to yourself, "This is fascinating. Fascinating!"

Oh, and while I like the "all media are equal" idea in that it doesn't assume that print is the default medium, I'm kind of curious to see the first books coming out that will have bibliographies looking like this (from 5.5.2):

Kirby, David. What is a Book?. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2002. Print.

Tatar, Maria. Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1992. Print.

6 comments:

Ink said...

I just heard about that yesterday and I don't really understand what is wrong with print being viewed as default...is it not PC, somehow? I don't have the new version yet, so maybe it's explained in great detail.

Frankly, I just don't want to type "Print" a billion times on my Works Cited. Especially since we're all trying to go green and that just makes the bibliographies longer...sigh.

What I'm *really* annoyed about, though, is the suspicion that MLA is changing things all the time just to sell more handbooks...

But anyway, I loved the idea of picking up the new handbook and perusing, as you described. It does sound fascinating! :) Have fun!

undine said...

Ink, I think they're figuring that it is more PC to specify the medium in this age when more things are digital (or so goes the argument). But I'm with you--this just makes the bibliographies longer and sells more handbooks.

I feel a post coming on about this.

PQuincy said...

Meanwhile, each new edition of Chicago, for those of us not subject to the dread and mysterious MLA, goes deeper and deeper into citation minutiae in silly ways -- I guess they're shooting to have it come out in two volumes (Print).

Ink said...

Oh, wow! Two volumes? That would be time to revolt!

undine said...

PQuincy, I wonder if they're going to more and more minutiae so that we'll all give up and subscribe to the Chicago Manual instead of buying it. On the other hand, if they're talking about citation formats, at least they're not making it a two-volume set by telling you "a dust jacket is a paper cover on a hardcover book." Thanks, I needed that--or, as Louis Menand says, "helpful information for the man from Mars."

profacero said...

I am outraged. Outraged!

They are catering to my student, whom I informed that she could see journals in the library that we do not get in online versions. She asked: "Are they full text?"