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Fun Fact #10: What Is I.e.?

(And no, it is not Internet Explorer!)

It is very warm in New York this morning, so I will make this lesson short and sweet.  So many of today’s words and phrases originate from Latin roots. We don’t even realize it until we come across an example or two. Years ago, I worked for a law firm in Manhattan. It was there that I learned the proper use of Latin words. The law is riddled with them, but that’s a lesson for another day.

The origin of i.e. comes from the Latin word, id est, meaning ‘that is’ or ‘in other words.’ A good example is explained on dictionary.com:

An abbreviation for id est, a Latin phrase meaning “that is.” It indicates that an explanation or paraphrase is about to follow: “Many workers expect to put in a forty-hour week — i.e., to work eight hours a day.”

Not to be confused with e.g., which is an abbreviation for exempli gratia:

An abbreviation meaning “for example.” It is short for the Latin exempli gratia, “for the sake of example.” A list of examples may be preceded by e.g.: “She loved exotic fruit, e.g., mangoes, passion fruit, and papayas.”

Ok now go forth and use them wisely! Carpe diem.

Note: special thanks to dictionary.com for help with today’s lesson.

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