Tuesday, May 02, 2006

PSA: i.e. versus e.g.

Okay, this is bugging me enough to post.

I have seen so many people use "i.e." to mean "for example", when they should actually be using "e.g.".

Here is what the good folks at Wikipedia have to say:
Exempli gratia (e.g.) and id est (i.e.) are commonly confused and misused in colloquial English. The former, exempli gratia, means "for example", and is used before giving examples of something ("I have lots of favorite colors, e.g., blue, green, and hot pink"). The latter, id est, means "that is", and is used before clarifying the meaning of something, when elaborating, specifying, or explaining rather than when giving examples ("I have lots of favorite colors, i.e., I can't decide on just one"). Both "e.g." and "i.e." should generally be followed by a comma, just as "for example" and "that is" would be.
I always translate "i.e." as "in other words" -- that is i.e., In other words

You can also think of e.g. and Example both start with the letter "e".

People, use colloquial English properly!! Especially in formal documentation!

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