Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I recently had a poll on preferred documentation styles, and Chicago (and its fraternal twin sister, Turabian) won handily. But at the time, Matt Akins wrote derisively:

They're all poison to the writer in my soul that longs to be free.

It's an understandable view, especially when a documentation style prevents effective communication -- or a source simply won't fit within the prescribed guidelines of a stylebook. But as an old history professor of mine long ago said to students who stressed about getting every jot and tittle correct:

"Documentation is like sex. When it's good, it's very, very good. And when it's bad, it's still better than nothing."

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