Why are i.e. (id est) and e.g. (exempli gratia) abbreviated with periods between each word and etc. (et cetera) not abbreviated as et.c.?

  • 5
    et isn't abbreviated is it?
    – Jim
    Apr 9 '15 at 1:24

The reason is because the original abbreviation of the phrase "et cetera" was "&c.", and in fact the ampersand existed as a common "letter" in English for quite some time. Instead of referring back to the original Latin, when ampersands fell out of use "&c." turned into "etc.".

  • Plus, "etcetera" (with no blank) is a common (since 1597) English spelling.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 9 '15 at 2:14

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