Stewarts Corner

Spørsmål angående engelsk språkbruk kan sendes til Stewart Clark, e-post: eller faks: 73 59 79 99.

Good Latin (1)

Academic papers, theses and formal documents written in English may contain confusing Latin words and abbreviations. Here are some tips about how to use some of the most common ones. The rest are in the next corner.

e.g. (Norw., f. eks.) stands for the Latin «exempli gratia», which is never written or read. The pronunciation is «e.g.». Most style guides suggest that e.g. is best used before examples in footnotes, brackets and notes. A phrase beginning with e.g. should not end in etc. In running text, English alternatives such as: «for example» and «for instance» are often preferable. Note that these are normally placed after the example. Thus: «...i f.eks. Oslo og Bergen», is best translated as: « Oslo and Bergen, for example».

et al.
et al. (Norw., m.fl.) When referring to more than three co-authors in text or in bibliographies, et al. is used as a collective abbreviation for the Latin «et alia»(and others). The pronunciation is «et al.»

Note the following: You must always use plural verbs/pronouns when et al. is the subject: «Franks et al. develop a new approach to syntactic analysis which they illustrate in this work.»

Never use a stop after «et» in
et al.

In AE, the term «co-workers» is sometimes used in text instead of et al.

etc. (Norw., osv.) the abbreviation etc. is always used instead of et cetera and means «and other things». It is best to only use etc. in footnotes, brackets and references. In formal writing, lists can be followed by «and so on». Note that etc. should be used for things, not people: «Popular models are Ford, Opel, Toyota etc.», rather than: «Her boyfriends were Tom, Dick, Harry etc.»

Finally, four points to remember:

Pronounce etc. as «et cetera», not «ek cetera».

Never write «and etc.», since «et» means «and».

Never write it with an ampersand, as in &c.

Never place etc. at the end of a list beginning with e.g. , «include», «including», «such as» or «for example».

ib., ibid., ibidem, ibidem,
usually abbreviated as ibid. or ib., means «in the same book, chapter or passage as was quoted before». It always refers to what immediately precedes it: «ib. Act II, Scene 4»(i.e. later on in the same play). In modern style, ibid. and ib. are often replaced by the author's name, a date and page number: «Jones 1972, pp. 11-14.» Compare ibid. with op. cit. (in the next corner).

i.e. (Norw., dvs.)means «that is» or «that is to say». It is an abbreviation for the Latin «id est», which is never written or pronounced. Note that i.e. is used for interpretation or to repeat an idea in another way: «The author, i.e. G.B. Shaw, said that all art is propaganda». Careful writers always use i.e. before an interpretation, not exemplification or illustration an idea, where e.g. or «for example» would be correct.

Tricky words

Some words with «circles»
When people «argue in circles», (Norw. «føre sirkelbevis»), they also can be accused of «begging a question» (avoiding an issue).
When the wheel has come «full circle» (Norw. «ringen er sluttet») this means you are back at the starting point.
The best translation of «ond sirkel» is a «vicious circle». Does anyone have a good translation for the opposite: a «virtuous circle»?

Dependant, dependent
(Norw., person man har forsørgelsesplikt overfor, avhengig av). In BE, a person who is financially reliant on someone else is a dependant. Otherwise, the spelling is dependent.
In AE, the noun, may be spelt dependant or dependent.
In both varieties of English, the adjective is always spelt dependent as in a «dependent variable».

«Engelsk oversettelse av terminologi i UH-sektoren» (KUF, 8 January 1998 ) ... (cont.)

A colleague in the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs (KUF) rang me about the points made in this column last month about the above letter that has been distributed in the HE sector in Norway. I am told that a revised version of this letter with the correct capitalization of titles and some minor amendments is soon to be distributed by KUF.

Enlightening English

« I took the following courses in further and confining education: ...»
(NTNU student's CV)

«For sale, 4-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for an antique lover.»

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