e.g., i.e., etc.

Jacques Melot melot at ISMENNT.IS
Thu Jan 25 21:57:54 CST 1996

>Open for Comments
>I have reviewed the "Discussion Draft of the Proposed Fourth Edition" of
>1.  Throughout the text, for "i.e." and "e.g." read "i.e.," and "e.g.,".
>    At present, application without the comma is inconsistently applied.
>    For example, p.17, Article 58(2-14) has "i.e.," and "e.g.,", whereas
>    Article 58(1) has "i.e.".
>    Reasoning: if we use a comma for "That is, I suggest...", and "For
>    example, these are...", then we should use a comma for the Latin
>    abbreviations.
>I trust tht you will examine and consider the comments above in the
>positive, constructive manner in which they are offered.
>Yours sincerely,
>Robin Leech

Une simple remarque concernant la 1ere remarque de Robin Leech (i.e., e.g.):

En linguistique, l'USAGE prime la LOGIQUE.
1. -- Selon "Collins Cobuild English language dictionary", William Collins
Sons & Co Ltd (1987, repr. 1993), p. 452:
e.g. "is an abbreviation that means 'for example'; it is used before a
noun, or as a conjunction introducing another sentence.".
Les exemples donnes sont les suivants:
"Reasonable work expenses, e.g. trade union subscriptions, fares, and
overalls, will be taken into account... They try to make them fit their own
private interests, e.g. by appealing to different sections of the

Cf. aussi, p. 719, un texte similaire pour "i.e.": "You should start to run
down any freezer supplies (i.e. eat the stuff) as soon as you know you're
moving... To keep a dog costs twice as much, i.e. pounds 110 a year."

2. -- Il y a un exemple semblable en francais, concernant l'abreviation
"etc." (latin "et cetera").
L'usage correct en francais consiste a ecrire, par exemple:
"des pommes, des poires et des scoubidous" [pas de "," devant "et"].
Par contre, si l'on veut employer "etc.", alors l'USAGE CORRECT est:
"des pommes, des poires, etc." ["," devant "et cetera"].
Ce n'est pas logique... mais c'est l'usage.
Dans certains cas on peut transgresser l'usage, mais pour cela il faut
avoir des raisons serieuses pour le faire.

La preservation de l'usage linguistique est dans le meme esprit que la
preservation de l'usage exprimee dans les recentes editions du Code de
Nomenclature Botanique (Berlin, Tokyo)!

Salutations cordiales,

Jacques Melot, Reykjavik
melot at ismennt.is

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