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While I can't think of a reson it wouldn't be appropriate, my preference
has always been to avoid the Latin abbreviations in favor of plain
English, so I would replace etc. with "and so on" or other, similar
phrase (as in "Days of the week include Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and
The Apple style guide says not to use etc., suggesting "and so forth" or
"and so on" instead. The Microsoft style guide gives the exact same
Although the 13th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style says that use of
etc. is to be discouraged, they fail to say why.
Finally, Strunk and White's Elements of Style says that etc. is incorrect
in any phrase that is introduced by "For example" or "such as" or similar
expressions. It also says "In formal writing, etc. is a misfit. An item
important enough to call for etc. is probably important enough to be
That's all I know on the matter... obviously, it's a personal (or often
institutional) decision whether to use etc. in your writing.
On 2/22/99 9:25 AM, Kevin Feeman (Kevin_Feeman -at- HILL-ROM -dot- COM) wrote:
>Is it appropriate to use etc. in technical documentation? If not, why? Any
>input is appreciated.
Internet: stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com AOL: MStockman