3

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
2

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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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