Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Scientists Discover Oldest Citation Ever

In the Abri de la Madeleine archeological site of southwest France, scientists think they have discovered the oldest citation ever found.

“We were actually evaluating a possible connection between the Magdalenian culture and the earlier Aurignacian,” said paleontologist Jean-Marie Hillaire. “As we compared and contrasted artifacts at La Madeleine with those at Chauvet [Cave in France], we were excited to find what we thought might be the same written thought in both locations. However, because the information documented an event of the solar calendar, there was the real possibility that the correspondence was coincidental. But the more we studied the two, the more convinced we became that the two were connected. The breakthrough came when we were able to deduce that some symbols at La Madeleine are a quote. Once we knew we were working with a quote, it was relatively easy to spot the name of the author in both locations.”

They, literally, had discovered the first source citation.

“This discovery proves, once again, the need to cite one’s sources,” said Kate L. Turabian, creator of the Turabian citation guide. “Until a people learn to civilly build upon the ideas of those who have come before them, they will never develop the discipline necessary for modern thought.”

Coincidentally enough, the quoted information—the information about an event in the solar calendar—is best translated into English as “Happy April Fool’s Day.”

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