Re: Vice versa

Subject: Re: Vice versa
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- NETVISION -dot- NET -dot- IL>
Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 12:51:13 +0300

Matt Wiseley asks about "vice versa."

1. Yes, that's how it's spelled.

2. It means "the other way around."

3. There are a couple of reasons not to use it:

a. It can be ambiguous.

"My wife alerts me if she sees the collie in
the spaniel's bed, and vice versa."

(Does that mean I also alert her if I see the same
thing, or she alerts me if she sees the spaniel in
the collie's bed, or what?)

b. It can add to the reader's effort.

"Some days Rover chases Fido, and other
days Fido chases Rover."

"Some days Rover chases Fido, and other
days vice versa."

(The reader needs to perform an extra step in order
to decode the second sentence.)

c. But if ambiguity is not a problem, and the alternative
to "vice versa" is very wordy and repetitious, then
"vice versa" may be the way to go.

"The amount of effort invested in the work influences
the perceived value of the finished product, and the
perceived value of the finished product influences
the amount of effort invested in the work."

"The amount of effort invested in the work influences
the perceived value of the finished product, and vice
versa."

(It's easier to decode the "vice versa" than to decode
the long sentence.)

--
- Mark L. Levinson - nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il - Herzlia, Israel -
"You can't judge right by looking at the wrong." - Willie Dixon

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