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Letters |

Exempli Gratia and Id Est

Harry L. Arnold Jr., M.D.
JAMA. 1964;190(13):1137. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070260049023.
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ABSTRACT

To the Editor:—  The inexpressible revulsion I experience on seeing those old traditional Latin expressions, exempli gratia and id est, reduced from the identifiable abbreviations "e.g." and "i.e." to the simple and subtle "eg" and "ie," is not important, I know; I am but one of your many readers, and in a decade or two this practice could become quite acceptable. Alas, that it could!Let me report for the record, however, that during this decade or two I fully expect every "eg" and "ie" to have just about as bad an effect on me as it would on a reader sufficiently innocent to suspect that you'd misspelled "egg" or started experimenting with Pitman's Initial Teaching Alphabet. It sets me back on my mental haunches for a second look, and it distracts me.Paul Bunyan saved 60 barrels of ink in the first year by telling his bookkeeper to stop

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