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I am currently writing my thesis for a MSc in computer science. In some places I came up with short but crucial explanations or remarks that I wanted to show in a stand-out display to emphasize their importance.

So I show a little grey text box, with a title. As for now I chose Nota Bene as the title — see an example here:

Nota Bene: If the dashed lines in the interface-graph (cf. Figure 7.2, on the right) are not explicitly included, a VPN network will essentially be represented by several disconnected graphs.

Now I am wondering if nota bene is something that I can use in this context. I know that is has the right meaning but I am unsure about the style. Does this feel pompous to you? Or old-fashioned?

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Thx for the quick answers. I changed all Nota-Bene's to the abbreviated form. I guess I was kind of unsure about the entire thing because `nota bene' is actually a phrase that is used in spoken dialect (Swiss German) from time to time... –  fgysin Feb 7 '13 at 9:59
A far more comfortable option would be to just say "Note:". Most readers would appreciate it. –  Kris Feb 7 '13 at 10:31
"Nota bene" is a phrase used in English from time to time too, but not that often. As with what was said below, some people would understand it, but some would not. –  Jon Hanna Feb 20 '13 at 15:00
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1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's better known, and more often used, as the abbreviation NB. Expanded, it could indeed be taken as pompously using Latin for the sake of showing off that you know a Latin phrase.

In other contexts I'd worry that some who know NB might not know Nota Bene. That's probably not a great concern in a masters' thesis, but it's another reason to favour the abbreviation, generally.

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