Miss-Elaineous Proofreading

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Polished English

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e.g. and i.e.

As someone interested in archaeology and heritage, I was fortunate to be able to visit Italy for my honeymoon, and was able to bask in the beautiful architecture and wonderful artefacts left behind by the ancient Romans.  However, you don’t have to go very far to see remains of the Latin language; it is all around us, especially in academic writing.

The previous entry mentioned the use of et al. and etc., but even more common is e.g. and i.e.  E.g. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase exempli gratia, which literally translates to “for sake of an example” or, more commonly, “for example”.  A good way to remember it is that e.g. and example both start with the letter “e”.  The Latin phrase id est is abbreviated with i.e. and means “that is”, and is used to clarify whatever came before.

Example: The incorrect use of Latin phrases in academic writing, e.g. et al., etc., op. cit., can obscure meaning, i.e. make it difficult for your reader to understand what you are trying to say.

Filed under latin academics

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