Saturday, February 26, 2011

I got your citations, right here.

I just looked through my archives at the old blog, and realized, to my astonishment, that I haven't whined about writing citations for OVER 2 YEARS!  Since I complain to myself every single time I write a "Works Cited" list, I can't believe that I didn't share the misery with the internet. 

Did you know that the Modern Language Association has REVISED its guidelines on citations?  No, I didn't either until today, when our instructor helpfully pointed it out, one day before our paper is due.  So now I need to finish writing the paper and THEN familiarize myself with the new and better-be-improved citation style.

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OK, I've just reviewed the new citation style, and perhaps I'm overreacting, as the changes appear to be minimal.  There are two points to make here, however: one, that I wouldn't be me if I didn't hyperventilate over every little thing that goes wrong; and two, WHY, MLA? 

The old way was FINE.  I'd become accustomed to the old way, and was able, for the most part, to correctly write my citations without referring to the Bedford Guide.  That's not to say that I LIKED writing citations, but really, is it necessary to change in any way a system that appeared to be working very well?  Has not the Modern Language Association ever considered the scholarly wisdom of the "if it ain't broke" theory?  I blame Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for this.  Note to MLA: the idea of the new release doesn't necessarily apply to every endeavor.  If it doesn't contain a silicon chip, then 1.0 will probably do the job for the next 50 years.  Meanwhile, I have a paper to write.  I don't have time to be your beta tester.

6 comments:

  1. I'm all over the version 1.0 concept. A friend was at a garage sale and found a copy of Robinson's New Higher Arithmetic, first published in 1895. It was "New" because Robinson's Higher Arithmetic was published in 1860.

    35 years between new editions. In today's textbook world, a.k.a the epitome of rip-off capitalism, an edition is probably outdated in about two years.

    Grr!

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  2. Hi Matty,
    Don't even get me started on textbooks. One of the first classes I took was Freshman Psych, in 2007, and the professor insisted that we had to purchase the new 2007 text, when there was a 2005 edition available. I realize that there are advances in a field in two years, but none that freshman psych students need to be aware of. There was a $70 difference between the prices of the two books. Grrr indeed.

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  3. Maybe they won't revise it for another fifty years. You won't be writing papers then, so you'll be off the hook!

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  4. Elizabeth, if I could be SURE that I won't be writing papers in 50 years, then this would be very reassuring. Right now, though, I'm on track to be an ABC News "Person of the Week" when I graduate at age 92. Sigh.

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  5. Hey, the MLA is just shooting for job security. And isn't it Modern Language Association? It was when I was in school, though that was a mere 25 years ago... ouch.

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  6. Dguzman--It is, and I changed it! And I knew that, too; not sure why I substituted "Library" for "Language". In either case, they're invited to suck it for changing underlined book titles to italicized.

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