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Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Now that nobody thinks about taking Greek anymore, it's Latin, actually a more or less businesslike language, that comes off as the height of condition. And not just among lawyers, doctors, cardianls, and botanists, either. Here, all the shorthand forms (re to qua, e.g. to i.e., viz to vide)

Sawed-Off Latin Words and Abbreviations:

c.:--- Used to show that a date is approximate: "Died c. 1850," Short for circa, around. Also sometimes ca. Pronounced as SIR-KA.

RE.: --- Shorthand (and memorandumese) for "about", "concerning" : Re: your comment yesterday," From in re, in this matter. Pronounced RAY.

CF.:--- Meant to get you to compare something to something elase: "cf, page 20,"that is, look at it with an eye to the issue at hand. From the Latin confer, meaning consult. If you pronounce it, say the letters, "'cee eff' page 20."

FL.:--- "he (or she) flourished." Shows up on the brass nameplates of old paintings when it's known when an artist worked but not when he was born (for the record, n., from natus) or died (ob., from obeit, literally "went to meet"). And while we're on the subject note also: aet., from aetatis, at the age of, for when they know how old the artist was when he did it but not the calendar year it was done, or want to emphasize the former.

MS.:--- The abbreviation for manuscriptum, manuscript, in a footnote or bibliography. Not to be confused with, Ms.,the magazine or form of address. More than one manuscript? MSS.

OP.:--- The abbreviation for opus, work, used in cataloging musical works and designating either a single composition or a group of them that stand as a unit.

VS.:--- Against, in the courtoom as the stadium. From versus, sometimes also abbreviated v.

D.V.:--- God willing,. from Deo Volente. Admittedly not much seen these days, though show-offs of an antiquarian bent use it to mean "if nothing gets in our way."

E.G.: For when you're about to give (or be given) a bunch of examples: "citrius fruits, e.g., orange, lemom, lime." Does not guarantee completeness of list (no grapefruit , for instance) Short for exempli gratia," for the sake of example".

I.E.:--- For when you're about to explain (or have explained to you) the nature of something: "citrus fruits, i.e., those fruit trees of the family Citrus, with an inedible rind, juicy flesh, usually in segments and a high vitamin C content." Short for id est "that is" .

N.B.: ---For Nota bene, "note well". Calls your attention to something the writer thinks you might miss or not see the, in his opinion, enormouse significance of.

QUA:--- "in the capacity of", "considered as", as in "the filem qua film --"the film not as a story or an evening's entertainment, but as an act of movie-making, as cinema, as art. Pronounced KWAY or KWAH

SIC:--- A nudge, usually parenthetical, often gloating, pointing out how a third part got something wrong or gave himself away: "In his review of thenew Sylvester Stallone (sic) movie...." From sic "thus".

VIZ:--- Used after a word or expression clearly requiring itemization. Equivalent to our "namely" or "to wit". An abbreviation of videlicet ..."it is permitted to see".

Q.E.D.:--- The capital letters printed triumphantly by a person who thinks he's convincingly proven what he set out to prove a paragraph -- or a chapter, or a lifetime --ago. Short for quod erat demonstrandum, "which was to be shown". A favorite of geometry teachers and miscellaneous pedants.

R.I.P.:--- Right, on all the old tombstones. But it's short for Requiem in pace,"May he (or she) rest in peace". not "Rest in Peace".

ERGO:--- "Therefore", "hence". Unforgettable in formulation Cognito, ergo sum,"I think, therefore I am"

PACE:--- "With all due respect to" or "with the permission of", as in "Pace Mies, there are times when more is more". Used to express polite, or ironically polite, disagreement. Pronounced PAY-see or PAH-chay.

STET:--- "Let it stand", or "ignore all previous instructions to alter or correct,", "this is, after all, how we want it". A pritner's term, but one useful to anybody in a position tomake -- or notmake -- final changes. From a form of stare, "to stand". The opposite dele, from the Latin word for "delete".

VIDE:--- In reference to a passage in a book, means see or consult. A shortened version of quod vide, "which see", sometimes also abbreviated as q.v.

IBID:--- One of the old term paper nightmares. "In the same book, chapter, or passage". short for ibidem "in the same place" Unlike op cit.,short for opere citato, "in the work cited".

ET AL.:--- "And others", short for et alia "and other things", and et alii, "and other people" More specific than etc., short for et cetera "and the rest", "and so forth".

AD HOC:--- "For this thing", said of something impromptu, impoverished, for the matter at hand and that matter only. An ad hoc committee will probably last out only the season, an ad hoc solution implies that somebody is -- or ought to be -- working on a permanent one .Cf, pro tem short for pro tempore,"for the time being".

AD LIB:--- "To the desire"; in music, a sign that somebody can play a passage, or an entire piece,as loud and as fast as he wants. In show business, and without the period, a sign that somebody forgot his lines.

PER SE:--- "Through itself"; intrinsically, by dint or its very nature.

(Source:AN INCOMPLETE EDUCATION by:Judy Jones and William Wilson)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:15 PM  
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