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The Page and the Kitchen

[T]he academic habit of relegating notes to the foot of the page or the end of the book is a mirror of Victorian social and domestic practice, in which the kitchen was kept out of sight and the servants were kept below stairs. If the notes are permitted to move around in the margins as they were in Renaissance books they can be present where needed and at the same time enrich the life of the page.1

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always found endnotes horrendous, only surpassed in ugliness by the parenthetical reference system imposed by some professional associations such as the MLA, the APA or the AAA. Long live the footnote, and long live Edward Tufte for giving new life to the sidenote.

  1. R. Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style, 2012.