“For Example”

So, according to Larry in Bakersfield, Calif. in a recent publication of Annie’s Mailbox, there is actually a difference between using “i.e.” and using “e.g.”.  The two Latin abbreviations stand for “id est” which means “That is” which infers a complete list of what items answer the condition, and “exampli gratia” which means “for example” or “example given” and lists representative forms.

I did not know that.  I assumed that they were interchangeable and have used them as such.  Of course, I was using based on experience and I believe that many people are misusing these phrases.  Am I wrong?  Was I the only one out there that was using “i.e.” to mean for example?

I am the language lover and these are my thoughts.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Erb said,

    August 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I learned that in graduate school after I used “e.g.” at a place I should have had “i.e.” Though when I use “i.e.” for “that is,” I don’t use it as a complete list. Rather, I tend to use it to better explain something. So I may not be using it completely right…if “that is” sounds better than “for example” I use i.e.


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