I am writing corrections for a document. There is one error I have spotted on a line. Then I have recognized that the same error occurs again on the next line as well.

Say that the first occurrence of the error is on line #4. I could very well write "4-5", then again, it doesn't look as good as "4f" which I hope that it stands for "4 and the following one line". Is this right? I think I have seen something like that at some point in my life, but I'm not sure.

So the question is, does a notation like "line 4f" exists to denote "4th line and the following one line"?

Furthermore, say that the error spans even further, does "line 4fff" stand for "4th line and the following three lines"?

1 Answer 1


Both the form 4–5 and 4f for "4 and 5[following]" and 4-7 and 4fff for "4 to 7(three following)" are found in MLA in references of both pages and lines, but the form using f is not recommended and perhaps best thought of as a deprecated form that was once used but should not be any more.

Style-guides always rule on matters like this (i.e. if your styleguide disagrees with me, go with what it says) though if a guide just allows both I would recommend the form without f as being clearer.

Corrections are a specialised form of citations because they must be so much more detailed (really, it's so much easier when one can use proofreading marks on a copy of the manuscript and specify down to the individual character while still being more concise; this is a case where email has made communication slower). If the person who will be receiving the corrections has a preference, then go with that even if it disagrees with every style-guide in the world.

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