Posted by: episystechpubs | October 6, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Latin Expressions

Over the years, we’ve gone through changes in the Jack Henry and Symitar style guides as far as Latin expressions go. We’ve used i.e. instead of “in other words” or “that is”; we’ve used e.g. instead of “for example.” I always thought these abbreviations were straight forward, but according to many technical writing resources, it is better to avoid the Latin and use English instead.

The primary reasoning is that Latin expressions are harder to translate. This goes hand-in-hand with writing in plain English, talking directly to the audience, avoiding passive voice, and other lessons we revisit often.

Now that I’ve told you to avoid Latin expressions, I will share some of the more familiar ones with you. This is just a sampling, with definitions from Merriam-Webster.

ad hoc

for the particular end or purpose at hand and without reference to wider application or employment
ad infinitum

to infinity : without end or limit <talked on and on ad infinitum>
exempli gratia (e.g.) for example

therefore; hence
· et alii (masculine plural

· et aliae (feminine plural)

· et alia (neuter plural)

(et al.)

and others
et cetera (etc.)

and others especially of the same kind : and so on : and so forth
ex gratia

: as a favor : not compelled by legal right
ex officio

by virtue or because of an office or offices
id est (i.e.)

that is
in situ

in the natural or original position
inter alia

among other things
per se

by, of, or in itself or oneself or themselves : as such : independently, intrinsically
vice versa

with the alternation or order changed : with the relations reversed : conversely

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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