In an academic, format context, can we write id est instead of its abbreviated form (i.e.)?
‘a walking boot which is synthetic, id est not leather’
‘a walking boot which is synthetic, i.e. not leather’
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Id est is not commonly used in academic writing today. Two reasons come to mind.
The usage is at best uncommon: A basic JSTOR search will churn up articles dealing with Latin sources, where id est occurs in larger samples of Latin text. Even when I limit the search to 2000 and later, the top sources are all Latin-facing, with titles like:
"Alabastrum, id est, corpus hominis": Alabaster in the Low Countries, a cultural history
The sources are Latin-centric even if we sort the results by "newest," which gives plenty of results working on the Aeneid and other Latin texts. (Sorting by "Relevance" privileges mentions of "id est" in the title, even if the search is full text.) Even if we could find an "id est" usage in English text in one of the 21,659 results as of this search, it would pale in comparison to the 1,684,336 results for "i.e."
Academic style guides discourage id est: Style guides either don't recognize the use of id est or make recommendations that preclude its use.
APA 6th Ed.:
4.26 Latin Abbreviations: Use the following standard Latin abbreviations only in parenthetical material; in non-parenthetical material, use the English translation of the Latin terms; in both cases, include the correct punctuation that accompanies the term.
Subsequently, i.e. is only listed with the translation "that is," rather than "id est."
MLA 8th Ed.:
1.6.2 Common Academic Abbreviations: The following abbreviations are recommended for use in the works-cited list and in in-text citations. Where confusion may result, spell out the words instead.
Subsequently, i.e. is listed as "that is (from the Latin id est; set off by commas, unless preceded by a different punctuation mark)."
Both style guides treat "i.e." as an abbreviation that has gone beyond its Latin form. Most academic readers don't learn Latin today, so id est would be less familiar than the abbreviation. So the typical academic writing strategy is to use i.e. in parentheses, notes, or citations, and to use an English translation in main text.
No, you should not use it. i.e. may have a Latin origin, but its current usage is determined by how English writers use it; it is now an English construction in its own right. id est is not used by English writers, and so would be as out of place in normal English writing as any other phrase from another language.