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smallpox and blank call outs

February 5, 2010

I don’t know why the people I write about always get smallpox, but they do. Now Mary Wollstonecraft’s baby has it. I remember the pustules and scabs from Anne Bradstreet’s brush with the disease when she was sixteen. At least I am learning something.

Meanwhile, the drama over endnotes continues. How does one do what Random House calls “blank call outs”? For those of you who have no idea what a blank call out is (like me yesterday), it is a note keyed to a phrase in the text. Thus when the reader reads Mary and Mary, he/she will not be bothered by any little numbers, but the writer will be Greatly Bothered trying to figure out how to eliminate them. I have spent a little time looking at various software programs, like “ENDNOTES” to see if they can help me. The jury is still out. Fortunately, the man on my campus who knows how to use ENDNOTES-the-software is also a psychoanalyst so he will be able to mop me up when I confront my various Endnote insecurities and inadequacies.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kirstin McEachern permalink
    February 5, 2010 10:38 pm

    I use EndNotes for all my articles, papers – now for my dissertation proposal. If you decide to get it and use it, you can have my copy of X3. Still not sure what a blank call out is, though…

  2. February 6, 2010 6:54 am

    As a copyeditor who deals frequently with academic endnotes, I can make a suggestion. The little numbers ARE easier to find in the citations if you actually want to look anything up. The problem in the text is that many people leave too many of them in the text. If you cluster your notes (say, have only one number per paragraph, and have it appear at the end of the paragraph), then the reader can easily track the info but has less visual distraction in the text. The big problem with endnote numbers is their overuse. Then they start looking like porcupine quills sticking out among all your beautiful words.

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