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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

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    e.g. means "for example," not "example given." How about "see?" Jan 15, 2014 at 11:29
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    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, 2014 at 13:59
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    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, 2014 at 14:18
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    Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how the "example" relates to the question. Jan 15, 2014 at 16:45
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    e.g. stands for "exemplī grātiā" which is Latin for "for example". It does not stand for "example given".
    – ADTC
    Jan 16, 2014 at 8:16

5 Answers 5

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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.

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    I use cf. on an almost daily basis! I have never considered it something not everyone would understand… Jan 15, 2014 at 13:45
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    @JanusBahsJacquet yes, but your field is linguistics, what'd you expect?
    – terdon
    Jan 15, 2014 at 14:37
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    Why not just the reference itself? Does cf add anything? I don't think the Harvard Referencing System requires it. Jan 15, 2014 at 17:44
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    @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. Jan 15, 2014 at 20:14
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    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, 2014 at 2:50
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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".]

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    Next you'll be telling us that "QED" at the end of a mathematical proof does not mean "quite easily done." Jan 15, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 at 14:32
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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.").

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  • 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. Jan 15, 2014 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, 2014 at 20:20
  • I think c.f. is for compare, and c.t. is for contrast!
    – Martin F
    Jan 16, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 at 7:50
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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.

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  • 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, 2014 at 7:41
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If you're bored of "see," consider "view."

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