Re[2]: Correct Wording for Examples (#932777)

Subject: Re[2]: Correct Wording for Examples (#932777)
From: Matthew Flynn <maflynn -at- DTTUS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 09:52:25 CST

Just to throw another curve in this conversation, how much
does it really MATTER that the reader knows the difference
between "i.e." and "e.g."? Both perform similar functions in
attempting to illuminate further somerthing you have already
explained or defined. "I.e." gives an alternative word or
phrase; "e.g." gives an example. The harm done by confusing
these two things is minimal at best.

Personally, I like to use "i.e." because I think "that is" looks
and sounds ugly. However, I prefer "for example" to "e.g."
because I don't see any aesthetic advantage to the abreviation.
Of course, this is very subjective...

--Matt Flynn

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Correct Wording for Examples (#932777)
Author: wburns -at- MICRON -dot- COM at Internet-usa
Date: 11/25/96 8:48 AM

Elna responds,

>No, it is NOT correct to avoid using these abbreviations, which are in
>wide use in the non-technical audience.

>If you're getting static from a technical reviewer on this, point out
>that most users generally know what e.g. and i.e. mean. If you have
>doubts about the literacy levels of your user, you can spell them out.

Hmmm. This position flouts most of what I've read in technical writing style
guides. In fact, I work in a technical environment in which both of these
abbreviations are misused consistently. Very few of these folks know the Latin
for these abbreviations, and too many pick up the bad habits of writers who use
the initialisms indiscriminantly. Perhaps it's not that big an issue when an
experienced operator or technician running a machine comes across these
initialisms in a simple procedure, but it could definitely be an issue if, in a
safety document, someone confuses the two terms and we wind up in a lawsuit
because of the misunderstanding. I'll stick with "that is" and "for example."

Bill Burns
Assembly Documentation Supervisor
wburns -at- micron -dot- com
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