Latin terms often used

pm – post meridiem (after midday)

am – ante meridiem (before midday)

ie – id est (that is)

eg – exempli gratia (for example)

ia – inter alia  (among other things)

nn – nomen nescio (no name)

CV – curriculum vitae (course of life)

ca  – circa (approximately)

RIP – requiescat i pace (rest in peace)

There are rules about when to use dots in abbreviations but generally I let my word processor decide for me whether versus should be vs. or vs for example. If your workplace has a style guide, then abbreviation format will probably be part of it.

This is an example of rules governing abbreviations. One of the rules governing how to write abbreviations is haplography

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

3 thoughts

  1. I work mainly in Parliament and the courts with legislation so people do tend to use Latin legal terms a lot (I have another post about that coming up soon), though in writing I usually only see ones above. For some reason Swedish speakers love using inter alia which I don’t see often in native English writing. Of the ones above the most problematic are e.g. and i.e. – people get them the wrong way round and also many Swedes were taught in school that e.g. is short for -‘example given’.

    I studied Latin for six years and it has really helped me with language and my job a great deal. When I was translating Pliny I hated it but I am so very glad of it now.

    1. Yes l think Latin should be taught in all schools (outside France!). I loved my 8 years of learning Latin and Greek as l discovered the ancient world, its heroes and myths.
      When l went to teach in England l was very sad to discover that Latin was only an option in the curriculum and only for one to three years (with 2h a week!!!). No need to say that very few students would choose that subject which they found boring and useless.

  2. English contains a few Latin terms and abbreviations which are very often misused by people as they don’t master their original meanings, unfortunately.
    On the opposite, French being based on its Latin and Greek origins, it contains loads of Latin terms which are used in everyday language (Latin is also a compulsory subject taught at school).

    Janet, do you think that Swedish people use a lot of Latin terms in their everyday life or is it mostly used in specific domains?

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