Et cetera, et cetera…

What does it mean?730032

‘Et cetera’ means ‘and so on.’ It is used to end a list that would have, in full, included many things similar to what was already mentioned.

Etymology

‘Et cetera’ is a Latin term which translates literally in English to ‘and the rest.’ It is believed to have originated in English usage in the early 15th century. It is worth noting that, although it is now abbreviated to ‘etc,’ before the twentieth century it was usually written as ‘&c.’

Improper Use

It is incorrect, but common, to use ‘et cetera’ (usually in the form of ‘etc’) simply to abruptly end a list that may otherwise be very long, or to imply that more examples could be given but the writer doesn’t actually know them! This usage of ‘et cetera’ is actually incorrect. When using Latin in modern English, it’s meaning must always be known and considered so we can be sure we are using it correctly. When it is spoken aloud it is commonly mispronounced ‘ek-setera.’

Proper Use

‘Et cetera’ should be abbreviated as ‘etc’ and only used to end a list of items or people who are very similar to the ones specified. Examples of usage in a sentence include:

‘Bob’s Restaurant sells fast food meals, hot dogs, burgers, fries etc.’
‘For dessert there are all the expected flavours of ice cream, vanilla, chocolate, etc.’

i.e., ‘id est…’

What does it mean?Doubt

The term ‘id est’ may be unfamiliar to some when written this way. In fact, we see ‘id est’ written frequently as ‘i.e.’ It is usually used to indicate an explanation of something.

Etymology

‘Id est’ comes from the Latin, meaning is ‘that is.’ The first use of it in spoken or written English is unknown.

Improper Use

‘I.e.’ is frequently confused with ‘e.g.’ This is incorrect; e.g. stands for ‘exempli gratia,’ which literally means ‘for example.’ ‘I.e.’ doesn’t provide an example, but a meaning. The two are frequently mixed up in written English as they are presumed by many to be synonymous.
Aside from this, it has become hard to determine what is proper and improper with ‘i.e.’ as there are a variety of ways in which it is used. In British English, for example, it is standard to place a comma afterwards, whereas American English goes without. It is rare to see the term used entirely incorrectly, as it’s such a common figure of the written and spoken word. It used to be deemed incorrect to put a colon after i.e. – ie: like this – but this is now widely accepted, as is italicising the term.

Proper Use

‘Id est’ is frequently, if not then always, abbreviated to ‘i.e.’ Examples of use in a sentence:

‘I use the browser IE, i.e. Internet Explorer.’ (I’ll get my coat…)
‘Bob’s pets, i.e. his cats, need a bath – they stink.’

A bona fide post.

What does it mean?

Pondering woman

‘Bona fide,’ in popular modern use, means ‘true,’ ‘well intentioned’ or ‘authentic.’

Etymology

‘Bona fide’ comes from the Latin ‘bona fides,’ meaning ‘in good faith.’ It is believed to have first come into usage in modern English in the 1930s.

Improper Use

Although ‘bona fides’ is the official Latin, this version of the term can sometimes be incorrectly used in modern English in place of ‘bona fide.’ In this day and age, ‘bona fides’ is actually a term for legal or personal documents.

Proper Use

‘Bona fide’ should be used when reporting actions that are made in good faith, or something that is or has become authentic. For example:

‘He made a bona fide offer to help, but was turned down.’
‘She began as an amateur, but is now a bona fide professional.’

Ad nauseam…

What does it mean?

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Ad nauseam is a fairly negative term. It is used to refer to something that has continued for a long time, to the point of making everybody feel slightly sick. It may or may not have been unpleasant in the beginning.

Etymology

‘Ad nauseam’ is a Latin term which literally translates in English as ‘to sickness.’ It’s first recorded use was in 1647. A form of the phrase used previous to this was ‘usque ad nauseam’ which means ‘all the way to sickness.’ The ‘usque’ was later dropped.

Improper use

It is commonly misspelt ‘ad nauseum’ due to the way it sounds aloud. If there’s a linguist in your life who you really want to irritate, this is a very good way to do it.

Proper Use

 

It is used to express being really fed up with something that has gone on for a long time or been overdone. Examples of use in a sentence:

‘He’s told the same story over and over ad nauseam.’
‘They’ve argued about the same thing for days ad nauseam.’
‘She talked about her new car ad nauseam.’