I often find the academic convention of using Latin words and abbreviations a bit silly. (Though I’m as guilty as anyone.) Today, I decided to look into a couple common ones, to see if there is any good reason not to use the ordinary English equivalent.
- “e.g.” is an abbreviation of the Latin “exemplī grātiā”, meaning “for example”. Here, “exemplī” is not hard to guess and “grātiā” means “for the sake of”.
- “i.e.” is an abbreviation of the Latin “id est”, meaning “that is”.
- “via”. This is not an abbreviation, but was the Latin word for a road. The plural is “viae”, which you should probably work into your next paper submission. (I think the usage would be “Linear convergence and entropic sparsity control viae quasi-stochasticity and entropy regulators”?)
- “et al.”. Here “et” is Latin for “and” while “al.” is an abreviation for “alii”, meaning “others”. I seem to recall a major statistics journal maintaining the noble tradition of actually writing “and others”, but can’t recall which one.
I see no particular reason we haven’t adopted English words for all these conventions, but in the context of the many local optima society is in… this hardly seems worth changing.