As college students, we had to type footnotes on the bottom of each page in our term papers. Back then, with an IBM Selectric, even with the backspace eraser, that meant re-typing pages for days. Just to organize the stupid format so everything fit. And. We had to read all of the footnotes in a text, which seemed so tedious.
Later learned to love great writers’ footnotes. Many were better than the core work itself. David Foster Wallace had the funniest footnotes ever. They could go on for pages and were laugh-out-loud biting wit.
Nephew Matt Levine is the DFW of Finance, with a happier ending. Matt’s Bloomberg Money Stuff column is stuffed with clever footnotes. For that and other stuff, he is profiled in the NYTimes.