Note (typography)

References to Notes

Notes are generally placed at the foot of a page; though sometimes they are collected at the end of a chapter, or even at the end of a book. Various devices are in use for indicating the passage in the text to which a note refers.

(1) The six reference signs: the "asterisk" (*), the "dagger" (†) (also called the "obelisk"), the "double dagger" (‡), the "section" (§), the "parallels" (||), the "paragraph" (¶). They are suitable only where the notes are placed at the foot of a page, and are invariably used in the order in which we have mentioned them.

If the number of notes in one page exceeds six, the signs are doubled. The seventh note is marked thus: **; the eighth, ††; the ninth, ‡‡; and so on. But it is better, in cases where the notes are so numerous, to use  other means of reference.

(2) Figures: either within parentheses, as (1), (2), (3), &c.; or, more usually, printed in the raised or "superior" form, as 1  2  3 , &c. Sometimes the first note in each page is marked;1  but it is now common, in books divided into chapters, to mark the first note in each chapter with 1  and then go on with continuous numbers to the end of the chapter.

"Superior" figures are now the most usual marks of reference in English books.

(3) Letters; which also may either be placed within parentheses or be printed in "superior" form: (a), (b), (c), &c., or a  b  c , &c. Italic letters are sometimes used. As a rule the first note in each page is marked (a) or a . If in one page there are more notes than there are letters in the alphabet (which sometimes happens), we go to (aa), (bb), (cc), &c., aa  bb  cc . The letter "j" is often omitted.

It is less common to make the letters continuous from page to page.

The sign, whatever it may be, is placed at the beginning of the note, and also in the text immediately after the part to which the note refers. The note may refer to a whole sentence, to a part of a sentence, even to a single word; the sign is placed as the case may be, at the end of the sentence, at the end of the part referred to, or after the single word.