Posted by: episystechpubs | April 27, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Latin Favorites

Good day, my fellow travelers.

Todays topicone weve covered beforeis about two little abbreviations: i.e. and e.g. While the JHA Style Guide does not recommend against using these abbreviations, we folks here, writing about Episys, have discouraged the use for a long time. Its not that we dont approve of Latin, its just that we dont approve of misusing terms.

Since we still see both used (and misused), I thought it might be time for a reminder lesson.

First, what do they stand for and what do they mean?

  • I.e. stands for id est, which is Latin for that is to say, or in other words.
  • E.g. stands for exempl grti, which is Latin for for example.

Heres a little more from a GrammarBook.com newsletter:

The abbreviation i.e. restates or fully lists what precedes it. It identifies, amplifies, clarifies, or specifies to remove all doubt about what the previous statement is saying.

The abbreviation e.g. gives one or a few examples from a larger grouping. It helps to illustrate a preceding thought but does not restate, list, or summarize it.

Next, lets look at some examples:

  • Latin Abbreviation: Ruby will get the reports to you shortly (i.e., one or two days).
  • English: Ruby will get the reports to you shortly (in other words, one or two days).
  • Latin Abbreviation: It would be great if you could bring something to the party (e.g., appetizers, salad, ice cream).
  • English: It would be great if you could bring something to the party (for example, appetizers, salad, ice cream).

Last, I have some additional notes that address some of the common mistakes we see with i.e. and e.g.:

  • When using e.g., you do not include etc. at the end of the list. From GrammarBook.com: because we are identifying partial information by way of example, we would not include etc. with an e.g. reference.
    • Correct: Please bring art supplies to the class (e.g., pencils, scissors, paint brushes).
    • Incorrect: Please bring art supplies to the class (e.g., pencils, scissors, paint brushes, etc.)
  • When using e.g. and i.e., follow them with a comma afterwards.
  • If you start a sentence with either abbreviation, the first letter should be uppercase. (See my example above under, First, what do they stand for and what do they mean?
  • Dont confuse the two! When in doubt, use the English alternatives.

Professionals recommend a mnemonic device to help remember which is which. Think of i.e. as in effect; think of e.g. as example given. I use my own twisted version, which is i.e. (in other words) and e.g. (eggsample).

Unless you are short on space, its best to use English rather than these abbreviations. Semper Fi!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editors Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: