I need to find a shortened format (abbreviation) for the words "look at" (to be used when referring people to another website).

For example:

Example given → e.g

  • 21
    e.g. means "for example," not "example given." How about "see?" – James McLeod Jan 15 '14 at 11:29
  • 9
    If compare (with): or for reference, see: you may like to use cf. that we commonly use in formal writing. The division into phases is common (cf. Hopkins and Burton 1983; Badian 1990a). thefreedictionary.com/cf. – Kris Jan 15 '14 at 13:59
  • 12
    small addition to e.g. : it means exempli gratia, and in English it may get pronounced as "for example". But indeed, the "example given" is a (common?) misinterpretation of the abbreviation. – oerkelens Jan 15 '14 at 14:18
  • 3
    Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how the "example" relates to the question. – Steve Melnikoff Jan 15 '14 at 16:45
  • 9
    e.g. stands for "exemplī grātiā" which is Latin for "for example". It does not stand for "example given". – ADTC Jan 16 '14 at 8:16

In the past, the abbreviation cf was used in texts. It's short for Latin confer, meaning 'compare'. You could still use it, but not everyone will understand it. Probably the best answer now is simply See.

  • 13
    I use cf. on an almost daily basis! I have never considered it something not everyone would understand… – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 15 '14 at 13:45
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet yes, but your field is linguistics, what'd you expect? – terdon Jan 15 '14 at 14:37
  • 1
    Why not just the reference itself? Does cf add anything? I don't think the Harvard Referencing System requires it. – Barrie England Jan 15 '14 at 17:44
  • 2
    @BarrieEngland, there’s a difference between simply putting a reference in brackets (which implies that the previous statement, fact, or data is taken directly from the source referenced) and including cf. (which implies that a similar concept or notion may be found in the source referenced, but does not imply origin). In an academic paper, including a cf. when you are actually attributing data to someone is, in theory, tantamount to plagiarism. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 15 '14 at 20:14
  • 1
    I recommend 'cf.' when the idea is 'compare this similar <argument/idea>'; but when it is dissimilar, I'd suggest using 'but cf.' in the sense of 'but compare this not-similar <argument/idea>'. To use 'cf.' to mean 'see' generally is, I think, a slight misuse. – jon Jan 16 '14 at 2:50

Probably the best way of shortening Look at is to use see.

See ELU Stack

See is idiomatic; look at is not generally used to direct people's attention to other resources in this way. Look at is used in speech ("Look at that!"), and it's interesting that see usually appears in writing.

[Note too that e.g. does not mean "example given"; it means exempli gratia, "for the sake of example".]

  • 23
    Next you'll be telling us that "QED" at the end of a mathematical proof does not mean "quite easily done." – James McLeod Jan 15 '14 at 14:15
  • Exempli Gratia means 'for example'. 'For the sake of example' would be more along the lines of 'Pro exemplo'. – Owen Jan 16 '14 at 14:27
  • OED: "exempli gratia phr. For the sake of example; for instance. Freq. abbreviated to e.g. (see e.g. adv. at Initialisms), occas. ex. gr." (which I would say was ex gratia but each to his own). – Andrew Leach Jan 16 '14 at 14:32

The latinate abbreviation (corresponding to "e.g." for exempli gratia) is "q.v." for quod vide = "which see", to direct someone elsewhere for further information. If it's an abbreviation you want, that's the perfect fit.

As other answers point out, however, "see" is even shorter, and provides more clarity. While "q.v." is common enough in some academic writing, it's not exactly common parlance.

My own sense is that "cf." should not be used here (even though it is in the "accepted" answer): it has a real meaning, and that meaning is "compare". From the question, that isn't the intended meaning. It is properly used in situations to contrast one thing with another (see also the advice from the the APA blog on the use of "cf.").

  • It’s hard to tell what exactly the asker is looking for. Q.v. would not be suitable, for example, if he wanted to include the name or address he was referring people to. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 15 '14 at 20:17
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - I agree: the original "use case" is not clear to me, although "q.v." strikes me as the "correct" abbreviation of the type given as a model. Whether it ought to be used is a different matter. ;) Ah well! – Dɑvïd Jan 15 '14 at 20:20
  • I think c.f. is for compare, and c.t. is for contrast! – Martin F Jan 16 '14 at 6:11
  • @martinf - It's not "c.f." but "cf.". See the link in my answer. I have never seen the latinate abbreviations "c.f." or "c.t.". Do you have a source? Perhaps my use of "contrast" was a bit strong. But "cf." is not simply for pointing to a source, but acknowledging some difference, comparison, or contrast from whatever precedes. Example: "Bloggs says lorem ipsum (but cf. Baggs who says foobar)". That sort of thing. (Also, see this comment elsewhere in this Q&A.) – Dɑvïd Jan 16 '14 at 7:34
  • And at the risk of belabouring this, the APA blog offers some trustworthy advice on the use of "cf." (among others). I'm still surprised the accepted answer is accepted, and that it has attracted to many up votes. – Dɑvïd Jan 16 '14 at 7:50

So, you want to say for example

look at my new website!


You can also just say

See my new website.

if you want to shorten it.

  • Actually I have a bolded word, and when you hover over it it tells you to "See page X". But this works for it. – Claudio Jan 16 '14 at 7:41

If you're bored of "see," consider "view."

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.