If you recall - and even if you don't - I sometimes have a bit of fun exposing sloppy citations. There are various forms of sloppy citation on the internet. One that often turns up in news media blogs involves citing some other blog as a reliable source; however, the cited blog also got things wrong due to its own sloppy citations. It's possible to get a whole chain of sloppy citations like the one I discussed on March 6 (1). The problem here stems from the use of bad secondary and tertiary sources. The solution involves eschewing all but the most authoritative sources. The Encyclopedia Britannica is an authoritative source; Wikipedia is not.

Writers who use sloppy citations should be sent to the tenth pit of the eighth circle of Hell, along with impostors and perjurers (2). Just saying...

The following link will take you to a brilliant graphic that illustrates one mode of creating a sloppy citation: http://xkcd.com/978/

(1) http://blog.someonewaswrongontheinternet.com/post/2013/03/06/Venezuela-oil-worse-than-Canadian-Oil-Sands, accessed 13 July 2013. (2) Dante, "The Falsifiers," Canto XXX, The Divine Comedy, http://www.divinecomedy.org/divine_comedy.html, accessed 12 July 2013.