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Re: [Groff] refer question

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: [Groff] refer question
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 17:14:05 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Fri, Apr 01, 2005, Jorgen Grahn wrote:
> On Thu Mar 31 23:22:08 2005, address@hidden wrote:
> > Hi.
> > 
> > I've begun work on adding refer capabilities to mom.  Using the ms
> > refer module as a starting point, I'm setting mom up to use MLA
> > bibliographic rules.
> MLA seems to be "Modern Language Association". What kind of status (official
> or unofficial) does this style have? I have never heard about it or seen it
> used.

As far as I'm aware, there exists no overarchingly official
bibliographic style.  Numerous institutions and organizations have
developed their own.  Their status is "official" only within their
respective fields.  What works best in a medical text may not be
appropriate to a dissertation on Shakespeare.

In contemporary North American bibliographies, about five styles are
"standard", though by no means the only ones used:

    AMA      (American Medical Association)
    APA      (American Psychological Association)
    MLA      (Modern Language Association)
    Turabian (from Kate Turabian's _A Manual for Writers of Term Papers,
              Theses, and Dissertations_)
    Chicago  (The Chicago Manual of Style)

The Modern Language Association has been around for well over a
century, which gives their dicta concerning style considerable
clout, though, as with other styles, no official standing.

It's a nice style: neat, clean and flexible.  I have some quibbles
with it, as I do with other styles, but as a "general" style, it's
by far the one I prefer.

Peter Schaffter
  Author of _The Schumann Proof_ (RendezVous Press, Canada)

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