QUOTE(porilo @ May 14 2012, 09:31 PM)
I can't understand why on earth they don't just write it as 4 semiquavers. It would make it so much easier to understand. Doubtless the excuse will be either it uses too much ink, or takes up too much space on the page.
This notation does not usually appear in isolation - there is usually lines, sometimes whole pages, of the stuff. Writing it this way makes it a lot easier to read.