(Last modified 31 March, 2003)
Many scholarly works2include footnotes. A footnote can be used for any of six major purposes:
To confuse the reader.5
To be pedantic.6
To cite references that7nobody will ever look up.8
To show off the author's erudition.9
Before creating a footnote, one must first obtain a reference or a parenthetical aside. References may be obtained by consulting any library;10be sure to choose a book or article with an impressive-sounding title. Parenthetical asides are also easy to come by: merely think of something irrelevant to the topic at hand, and write it down.11
Footnotes are easily startled.12
If you encounter a footnote that is foaming at the mouth or shows other signs of rabies, do not under an circumstances attempt to capture it yourself. Instead, immediately contact your local university's Comparative Literature department, which will be happy to send a trained expert to assist you.
Footnote are tasty straight out of the box as a low-calorie snack.13
If you prefer, you may sautée them with butter and onions, and wrap them in pita. If you must cook a footnote in the oven, be sure to stop when it's half-baked.
If you treat your footnotes well, they will breed. In general, the more footnotes a given work has,14the more it is likely to acquire.15 Some articles contain more text in the footnotes than in the main text.
Treat your footnotes well, and they shall wax fertile, and multiply.