Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
Information has never been more accessible or less reliable. So we are advised to check our sources carefully. There is so much talk of “fake news” that the term has entirely lost meaning. At school, we are taught to avoid Wikipedia, or at the very least never admit to using it in our citations. And most sources on the world wide web have been built without the standardized attributions that scaffold other forms of knowledge dissemination; they are therefore seen as degraded, even as they illuminate.
But it was only relatively recently that academic disciplines designed rigid systems for categorizing and organizing source material at all. Historian Anthony Grafton traces the genealogy of the footnote in an excellent book, which reveals many origin stories. It turns out that footnotes are related to early systems of marginalia, glosses, and annotation that existed in theology, early histories, and Medieval law. The footnote in something like its modern form seems to have been devised in the seventeenth century, and has proliferated since, with increasing standardization and rigor. And yet, Grafton writes, “appearances of uniformity are deceptive. To the inexpert, footnotes look like deep root systems, solid and fixed; to the connoisseur, however, they reveal themselves as anthills, swarming with constructive and combative activity.”
The purpose of citation, broadly speaking, is to give others credit, but it does much more than that. Famously, citations can be the sources of great enmity — a quick dismissal of a rival argument with a “cf.” They can serve a social purpose, as sly thank-yous to friends and mentors. They can perform a kind of box-checking of requisite major works. (As Grafton points out, the omission of these works can itself be a statement.) Attribution, significantly, allows others to check your work, or at least gives the illusion that they could, following a web of sources back to the origins. But perhaps above all else, citations serve a dual purpose that seems at once complementary and conflicting; they acknowledge a debt to a larger body of work while also conferring on oneself a certain kind of erudition and expertise.
Like many systems that appear meticulous, the writing of citations is a subjective art. Never more so than in fiction, where citation is an entirely other kind of animal, not required or even expected, except in the “acknowledgments” page, which is often a who’s who of the publishing world. But in the last two decades, bibliographies and sources cited pages have increasingly cropped up in the backs of novels. “It’s terribly off-putting,” James Wood said of this fad in 2006. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work.” Wood has a point, or had one — at their worst, citations in fiction are annoying, driven by an author’s anxiety to show off what he has read, to check the right boxes.
Q. Which of the following statements about footnotes can be inferred from the second paragraph?
I. According to Grafton, inexperts view footnotes as an immutable system with a singular purpose.
II. Footnotes, in their modern form, have attained a higher degree of standardization and rigour.
III. According to Grafton, experts view footnotes as a system that brews both beneficial and confrontational activities.
IV. Footnotes were an integral feature of Medieval literature, albeit in a form different from modern forms.