Re: Correct usage "i.e." and "e.g." ?

Subject: Re: Correct usage "i.e." and "e.g." ?
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 14:10:49 -0700

Beverly Parks said:
> There should be no punctuation problem. A single period is used if an
> abbreviation ends a sentence. (Ref: The New York Public Library Writer's
> Guide to Style and Usage.)

The double periods were to prove a point -- I know this rule and
many of the people on this list probably do as well, but not all
writers do, and especially not all of our intended audience does,
as to some a single period looks odd.

> And why are the Latin abbreviations e.g., i.e., and etc. sometimes
> disallowed, but a.m. and p.m. are accepted? The abbreviations B.A.,
> M.A., and M.D. (to name a few) are also Latin. Are they disallowed? (Not
> picking on Janice here; just asking in general.)

The main idea is to avoid confusion. i.e. and e.g. are not well
understood by many people. (If a technical writer asked a question
about them on this list, imagine the possible ignorance of our reading
audience!) Abbreviations like B.A. and a.m. are widely used and
understood even by a non-grammatically hip audience.

One could probably argue both ways on etc., as it is widely used, but
we decided that due to the possible punctuation confusion (and, to be
quite honest, the laziness of some writers in using this construction
when a fuller list is sometimes possible) we would avoid etc. as well.

-- Janice
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Janice Gelb [SMTP:janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM]
> > We don't allow any Latin abbreviations in our documentation,
> > including etc.. Even if we didn't have the general rule because
> > many people are unfamiliar with their meanings (as other people
> > have mentioned in this thread), we probably would disallow etc.
> > because of the punctuation problem in the first sentence of my
> > response! We recommend that writers use "and the like" or "and
> > so on," depending on the context.
> >

Janice Gelb | The only connection Sun has with this
janice -dot- gelb -at- eng -dot- sun -dot- com | message is the return address.

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