My dissertation occasionally presents me with some odd dilemmas resulting in strange turns of phrase. This is largely an artifact of working with an in-text citation style (APA), which blends a somewhat scientistic air with sometimes quite â€¦ let’s say, colorful names and language. No matter how many times I read this sentence, for instance, it looks strange to me, though there’s nothing objectively wrong with it:
Sexist, racist, and homophobic sentiments may be amplified by the somewhat anonymous and depersonalized format of internet venues â€“ an â€œonline disinhibition effectâ€ (Suler, 2004) in psychological terms, though well known to geeks under such terms as â€œthe Greater Internet Fuckwad Theoryâ€ (Kruhulik & Holkins, 2004).
The phrase is indeed well known, and I offer an endnote to expound upon that a bit. But it still looks like a weird sentence. (And yes, the lowercase “I” in “internet” is intentional.)
My dilemma today is how to cite an article by Iroquois Pliskin. Citing people by handle/screen name is usually no big deal for me. Because I’m quoting heavily from comments on blogs and publicly viewable forums, I already have plenty of citations like “(CmdrTaco, 2007).” This gets trickier when citing someone using a screen name that takes the form of a pen name. If I’m to treat this like a screen name, I’d cite it as “(Iroquois Pliskin, 2009).” On the other hand, this has a first and last name, so should it be “(Pliskin, 2009)”? “Mark Twain” was just a pen name for Samuel Clemens, but I think you’d still cite him as “(Twain, 1876).” And I haven’t even addressed how I decided to cite the Penny Arcade strip noted in the quote above as “(Krahulik and Holkins, 2004)” rather than “(Gabe and Tycho, 2004)”; citing when you have a screen name and a real name associated with a work presents its own challenges as well.
I’m not going to let something so silly hold me up right now, so I’m just going with citing as a screen name for consistency with the other online sources I’m using in cases when no real name is given on the work itself. Perhaps I’ll revise after defending if need be.