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Bluebook Citation Challenge

I'm not sure I'm taking this Note quite as seriously as I should be anymore. I've just run across two citation problems--things I don't know how to Bluebook for the life of me. And because I find it amusing, I'm going to share.

Challenge to law students: figure out how to Bluebook the following:

1) This blog entry on Begging to Differ.

2) This Wikipedia entry on Godwin's Law.

Oddly, if published, this Note may be only the sixth reference to Godwin's Law in Lexis-Nexis's database of law review articles. Who said that legal discussion was disagreeable?


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» One-upmanship from Letters of Marque
Anthony Rickey questions how to Bluebook two Internet citations. Internet -- and computer only -- citations have been the hell of my Note. And in the interest of one-upping Tony, I'll pose the following questions for Actual Sources that appear... [Read More]


1) [italics]How to Piss Off a Federal Judge, Greg BTD, at[/italics] http://www.beggingtodiffer.com/archives/2004_08.html#001579 (last visited Jan. 31, 2005) 2) [italics]Godwin's Law, at[/italics] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law (last visited Jan. 31, 2005) Seems to take the best portions of rule 18 (article name, author if known, at only for an internet site only, and a date for reference). That's how I did wikipedia entries on my comment, anyway. Oh, and you suck for requiring the captcha again after previewing before posting from the preview.
In retrospect, the Greg BTD may need to be outside the italics...can't really tell without a book in front of me.
Dear Mr. Campbell: Interesting suggestions: I'll take them to heart. Thank you for the criticism. Might I suggest that if you either (a) wish to rewrite S-Code so that it will work without the second CAPTCHA, without requiring a cookie on the browser--as some of my readers turn cookies off; or (b) take over the responsibility of cleaning the blog of comment spam, I'll be happy to oblige you. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll have to live with the second CAPTCHA block.
While I'm rewriting S-Code, may I suggest the Bayesian filter? http://james.seng.cc/archives/000152.html
If I have read the S-Code documentation correctly, you should get the desired behavior simply by removing the security code check section from the Comment Preview Template.
Sadly, when I last tried that, I got comment spam that triggered the comment preview window. Never quite figured out how it did that, but that's why I abandoned the approach. Anyway, no new site additions are likely until Wednesday at the earliest, anyway--the Note needs to get done...
Would it not be necessary to put Greg's real name? You probably could get it by e-mailing him. Be sure to tell the Evil Quadrumvirate to include a complicated set of rules for blog citation in the new edition -- as Howard Bashman likes to note, blogs are increasingly getting cited, probably more often than wikipedia.
I disagree about the blog post citation. It should be: Greg, How to Piss off a Federal Judge, Begging to Differ, at http://www.beggingtodiffer.com/archives/2004_08.html#001579 (August 10, 2004). You would use August 10, 2004 rather than the date visited because 18.2.1(e) the date is specified in the material itself, and this is the first preference available. The format would be essentially like the "Randall R. Smith" entries in 18.2.1(e). And you would not obtain Greg's full real name, because the Author name is governed by 15.1.1, which says that you give the author's full name as it appears on the publication. He's Greg; that's what you use. I agree with the cite of the Wiki.
All of your readers seem to assume you're looking for standard bluebook style - little do they know! Time to pull out the dreaded pink pages/make something up. Isn't that standard for internet cites?
Pink pages? Here at Michigan, we use the Dreaded Yellow Book. This way, we have the Michigan colors -- blue and yellow, although technically it's supposed to be maize and blue -- as our citechecking colors. Rah rah.
Followup, after reviewing the Blue book: Greg is identified as "Greg BTD" on the right hand side of begging to differ, which is pretty much coextensive with the original post. Heidi is correct about the author preceding the name and non-italicized. Heidi is further correct about the date of the article as specified in the article overriding a last visited. I am glad Heidi agrees about the wiki cite, as she obviously provides more accurate information. :-) Regarding S-Code, after thinking about it, I am afraid anything I could code into it (keeping a cookie if someone allows them, putting a hidden field in the form, etc.) would be a security flaw, allowing anyone (spammers) to override the code selection, meaning they would only have to capture one image and read it by hand to spam you into eternity. There is commented code in S-Code that seems to support this theory. Another brilliant idea destroyed by an ugly fact.
I can help with one point. You should call him BTD Greg, not Greg BTD. Sounds like you're working on a fun note. Be sure to keep us posted!
Someone suggested I do a law degree the other day. This thread alone has put me off :-)
If it's "BTD Greg" and "BTD Steve", then why does the contacts page list "Greg BTD" and "Steve BTD"?
I'll spare you my thoughts on the actual citations, as I'm saving all my BlueBook-Fu for the next round of journal edits. However, you may wish to consider the anticipated publication date of your note, as there is a new edition of the Bluebook coming in the foreseeable future. My friend in the know claims the internet citation rules are actually being fixed.
Belatedly, it occurs to me that you are as likely to know what is coming in the next BB as my friend, and more likely than me.
Buddha: Yes, but I feel like sneaking a peek at any drafts that might be lying around would be cheating. ;)
Heidi's mostly right about Begging to Differ (less the italics, but that's purely internal). Esp. correct as to date. Would recommend you add Greg's (the author's) last name as well, if it can be determined, even though not appended to this post. [If the BTD nonsense really is as precise as it gets... well, that's lamentable, first, and second, I suppose use that in absence of anything else. Sheesh: Kids these days.] Also web addresses used to be treated with a principle of parsimony---the "one click" rule used to be the best guide (i.e., give the shorter address that includes a link to the cited material unless the link was hard to find or the cited material was a .pdf, in which case give the direct address). Would think that would get rid of the "#5892398" or whatever, and possibly even more. Wikipedia needs an institutional author unless specifically exempted under blue / pink pages. (Contrary to the heretical assertion above, CLR does not "make up" rules for internet cites. The citation format is bound by very principled rules of style. They just can be neither observed nor explained.) It'll probably be something along the lines of: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Godwin's Law, at [...], (last modified ...). Note that it is modified, not viewed. Analogize to rules for dictionaries & encyclopedias, if there is one (I seem to remember it being so).
Richard Campbell - I don't know what you mean by "contacts page." When I click on "contact" on the right side of the screen, I get a nested list of everyone's first names. I'd like to figure this out so we can correct it, but I assure the convention we all use is BTD [firstname]. I suppose it might seem like nonsense to some, but we didn't get into blogging to be cited in law review notes. Otherwise, we definitely would have come up with better, more serious monikers, like "Tony The Pony."

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