I am asking about the conventions of abbreviations of pages, for academic/journal purposes. For example, if one submits a paper on arXiv, you will see that some renown physicist/mathematician uses the conventions of:

120 pp. instead of 120 pages.

And if there are more comments like how many figures there are, one can use

120 pp, 10 figures. instead of, 120 pages, 10 figures.

It looks to me that from Usage of "p." versus "pp." versus "pg." to denote page numbers and page ranges, the pp. actually stands for the range of pages, say pp. 10-12 means the page 10 to the page 12.

However, is it nd safe totally acceptable to write 120 pp to mean the 120 pages? How to justify its use? (It is not Latin. No?)

  • You follow the style guide (whatever they use) for the publication. Often page ranges are as you note above; 120 pp etc. would be the summary of the length of an article. – Xanne May 17 '17 at 6:24
  • pp is just the plural of p which stands for "page" - HTH. – Kris May 17 '17 at 8:03

In medieval Latin pp. is an abbreviation for paginae (pages). Since educated people often studied Latin, these abbreviations came into modern languages.

Plurals were often indicated by duplication of a letter, e.g. MSS for manuscripta (manuscripts). See Manuscript abbreviations in Latin and English:

the plural may be formed by duplicating the letter:

FF. ‘Fratres’ (Cappelli 1899: xv) MSS. ‘Manuscripta’ or ‘Manuscripts’ (cf. Driscoll 2006: 259–260) pp. ‘pages’

See library guide explanation of p. and pp. use:

Page(s) These are included in the in-text citation. If one page number is being refered to, use the abbreviation p. for page. If there are multiple pages use pp. to represent pages.

For example According to Gibbs (2009, pp. 34-35)

(Ezzy, 2002, p. 30)

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It is a conventional abbreviation for pages (see, e.g., Merriam-Webster, definition 1) obtained by doubling the initial letter.

Therefore, you can write both "120 pp" for "120 pages" and "pp. 130-170" for "pages 130-170".

If you submit to a journal (not the arXiv), look whether they accept this abbreviation or not in their guidelines. If nothing is specified (not every guideline goes into specifying such gory details) or you overlook that piece of information, the copy editor will take care of it anyway.

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  • 1
    If you want to include an example of the kind of usage the OP is asking about, there are many examples here. – 1006a May 18 '17 at 16:04
  • @1006a Thank you, later I'll add a couple of full-formed examples. – Massimo Ortolano May 18 '17 at 16:09
  • 1
    Yes, it IS Latin. Paginae is abbreviated pp. in medieval Latin. – user227547 May 18 '17 at 16:24

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