Last night I was working on an article away from home and needed to reference a source I’d left there. Not wanting to lose my pace, I ended the sentence I was working on with a placeholder: “INSERT RESEARCH HERE.” I knew generally what the research was, I just needed to look up the exact figure. Typing in all caps ensured I’d catch the note in proofreading if not before. I did think at the time, though, that if the wrong draft were accidentally published I would be very embarassed.
Tonight I learned two things courtesy of Greenpeace. 1) Other writers use this all caps placeholder technique. 2) Forgetting to take them out does indeed look really, really bad.