Example: “Head you wouldn’t believe, call 555-3278.”

by Henry Farrell on January 7, 2009

Truly wonderful. Via “PNH”:http://www.nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/, “mock-authoritative citation rules”:http://www.pmla.org/altsource.html for public restroom graffiti, alien communications and much else besides. Suggestions for more such rules welcome in comments.



Gdr 01.07.09 at 8:59 pm


Henry 01.07.09 at 9:00 pm

sorry – fixed.


Russell Arben Fox 01.07.09 at 10:42 pm

I thought there was a blogosphere-wide aggrement that any cited graffiti that included an actual phone number would be replaced with 867-5309.


john b 01.08.09 at 12:07 am

Is that Glenn Reynolds’ phone number?

I was going to berate Henry for not checking his own blogroll, then I noticed someone had finally (many years after the URL for the old one persisted whilst redirected) removed my old blog and not added the new one. Bad Timber…


Jon H 01.08.09 at 4:51 am

Unfortunately, you call that number and get John Merrick.

(Or Joseph Merrick if you want to be all factual.)


James Wimberley 01.08.09 at 10:09 am

More categories:
Visions [angel’s name and rank, substances previously ingested, date and place]
Omens and auguries
Lies [with refutation; this would speed things up for Tim Lambert]


Knecht Ruprecht 01.08.09 at 6:12 pm

Fortune cookies: list fortune, name of restaurant, whether eat-in or take-out, date consumed, and lucky numbers.

Example: “The loudest gong sounds the entrance of the biggest fool” [Yin & Yee’s Szechuan Cafe, takeout: June 10, 2005; 424-56-81]


Knecht Ruprecht 01.08.09 at 6:38 pm

Also potentially useful: citation conventions for breakfast cereal boxes, Starbucks cups, drunken rantings of the guy on the next barstool, cocktail party gossip, pillow talk, “enhanced interrogation” sessions, unfogged comment threads, viral e-mails, and jumbotron messages.


Daniel 01.08.09 at 6:45 pm

I would actually like to see some sort of citation convention for information received via the GIYUS Megaphone software.


ejh 01.08.09 at 7:30 pm


Russell Arben Fox 01.08.09 at 10:00 pm

ejh wins.


James Wimberley 01.08.09 at 11:19 pm

Blog comments.
Since the Management still reserve the right to delete comments arbitrarily and so change the numbering, in spite of specific and reasoned complaints by the Commenters, the shortest unique citation of comment 10 (9 letters) is:
“blog post https://crookedtimber.org/2009/01/07/example-head-you-wouldnt-believe-call-555-3278/, comment 10 by ejh, accessed 2008-01-09 at 00:6 CET”.
It’s even longer of course if accessed on the Wayback Machine or by time-travelling research botslave.


Henry (not the famous one) 01.09.09 at 3:19 am


If we’re talking about cereal boxes, then it’s time to link to http://www.flickr.com/photos/33032196@N00/62027592/.

The great Myles na gCopaleen also commented on the need of some obsessives, when denied anything else to read, to read every word on boxes of cereal. Unable to provide a citation, other than Best of Myles.


noen 01.09.09 at 4:58 am

Alien Mind Transmissions sometimes come from a different plane of existence or a parallel universe. It seems awfully imprecise to just say “The Seventh Plane”. Oh yeah, thanks a lot, that really narrows it down for me. Sheesh.


mollymooly 01.11.09 at 8:05 am

I just put most of these under (private information) and (personal communication).

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