I recently spent hours going over a copy-edited book manuscript, and one of the most time-consuming pieces involved trying to make footnote format consistent from chapter to chapter and note to note (this is a book with two co-authors). And I wondered... WHY AM I DOING THIS? Law professors whine all the time about bluebooking, but let me take the whining a step further: it's not just that particular citation conventions (bluebooking, Chicago Style Manual, whatever) are arbitrary, but the insistence that note styles within a book or article be internally consistent also seems pointless. That is: there is one and only one thing a reader needs in a footnote, right, and that's the ability to go find the source themselves if so inclined. But does the reader give a hoot if footnote 6 lists volume number after the name of the journal, while footnote 45 lists volume number before the name of the journal? Who cares? Is there any non-ritualistic, non-aesthetic reason for any of this?