March 21, 2012


I wrote about "viz." first, because I think it's the most interesting of the "...that is," substitutes.  "I.e." is the only one most people should use these days, although I think spelling out "that is" or "I mean to say" is better style than using a Latin abbreviation.  ("I.e." is from id est, "that is".)  Use "i.e." to introduce a rephrasing, clarification, enumeration, etc. of what has just been said.

Modern authorities say not to italicize "i.e.," even though it's in a foreign language--it's been naturalized into English after centuries of use. Don't put spaces within it.  It is always proceeded by a comma, but not necessarily  followed by one.  This is up to you, as long as you are consistent in your writing.  This is in contrast to "that is," which is usually going to be proceeded by and followed by a comma.

No comments:

Post a Comment