I think most style guides for English would concur with your assessment on footnotes being a bad thing. I was in fact asked to revise an article for a US journal recently, and was asked to eliminate footnotes. As the information in the footnotes was mostly essential but peripheral to the argument, I ended up putting it in brackets in the text, which seemed to me a less than elegant solution.
It would be interesting to hear from EATAW members who write and/or teach writing in other languages whether this trend against footnotes is common across European languages (or indeed beyond).
>>> Russell Kent <[log in to unmask]> 19/2/10 11:18 >>>
On a separate issue, what do list members think of footnotes. Personally, I
think they are extremely annoying and distracting. If the comment is not
worth putting in the actual text, why bother?