In high school and college I remember whenever doing some research for a class, my English teacher then will look at the citation at the end and use a red pen to mark out any place where MLA format is not strictly followed. This is probably the reason that there are 106 million hits for "MLA How?" on Google.
Doubtlessly citation is necessary and very helpful, but I question over the strict adherence to a particular formatting style. But the problem is I have this idea that you must cite with 100% accuracy and adheres to a particular style. It was drilled into my head by my English teachers and professors particularly those in the arts and social sciences. Now I am in graduate school and I am faced with having to cite dozen of extremely well known literature with a very small audience in mind. Some of the authors are who works at another lab down the street or I meet everyday. In all honesty, the citation is done in the off chance someone who reads it and finds that he needs additional literature support.
By formatting style, I mean any generic formatting style MLA/IEEE/APA (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/) or otherwise that instructs you to cite as follows:
[First Name][Last Name] "[Text]"...[Publisher][Page Number][Chapter]...[Web/Print/Hardcopy...][Date Accessed in m/d/y or d/m/y]...
Don't forget each [...] needs to be separated, by ; , or a dot, or comma as instructed.
For one, doing a strict alignment with a particular format a huge time waster for the author and practice feels a little bit cultish.
Secondly, if the most necessary information pertaining to a particular reference is included in the citation section, do I REALLY need to ... align the format with a particular citation style with strict adherence? I think nowadays most people just look at the author and the book title and do an online search.
For example, is there a huge problem with writing:
A. Thomasz "Guide to IEEE or MLA format". Dover. 1999. Print.
Thomasz Antonie, Guide to IEEE or MLA Format, Dover, 1999.
Thomasz Antonie. "Guide to IEEE or MLA Format". www.guidetoieeeormla.com. Web.
A. Thomasz. www.guidetoieeeormla.com.
Actually if I remember far back enough in high school you would actually need to cite another person if he speaks to you. So if I had spoken to Mr. Antonie (made up person), then I would have to cite our conversation in a particular style. "Verbatim" was the word, or "Orally", or "Presentation"? I don't think I have ever done that after high school, even in reality much of what I know is by speaking to other people, yet I never reference any of those people.
I have not yet written a research paper. Is strict adherence to a particular formatting style actually followed in practical research? Is there any big problems that would arise if a particular citation style is not strictly followed?
This question is inspired when I was exploring around and seeing how people in other countries say France do not particularly care about this issue and everything works fine. I am in the hard sciences if that helps.
Comment: looks like an American phenomenon, just so you know in American schools we are taught for the span of 4 years to manually type all citations in MLA (including the full URL link) Here's a paper addressing this interesting cultural practice