Abbreviations and Symbols in Footnotes

One of the things that makes research fun and interesting for me is examining footnotes of the sources I come across. The reason is I never know what information is there to be discovered. It could be a heretofore unknown primary source document, or an article which supports the argument that my piece is trying to make. It is for that reason I do not use abbreviations, citation symbols, or obscure terminology in my footnotes. Additionally, I define  terms used to provide a common frame of reference.

In my research of the Capital Riot that occurred on January 6, 2021, I have found to my joy and irritation many footnotes which include abbreviations and citation symbols such as in the image below.

Footnotes from the House Managers brief in the Senate Trial of Trump

In footnotes 175 and 176 the words United States Constitution are abbreviated as are the words Article, Section and Clause. Now, I know that I could be accused of nitpicking, and the House Managers were aware that the audience for their brief would understand the abbreviations; but it would not have taken up that much more time or space provided a full and complete footnote at least at 175 for the general public. As a historian, I am familiar with the abbreviations and the symbol (§) for section. But most people are not, even most undergraduates.

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