Archive for ‘Wordwise Wednesday’

February 26, 2014

Wordwise Wednesday: etc. and et al.

Latin is still alive and well in the English language, contrary to what most people believe. Today’s examples are frequently used abbreviations taken directly from that language: et cetera (abbreviated etc. or &c., in older documents) and et alia (et al.). Both are Latin for “and others,” but they have different uses. “Etc.” is used to extend a list of things, whereas “et al.” continues a list of people. For example:

When writing, one should have plenty of supplies on hand, such as pens, paper, etc.

The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy contains articles written by Kory L. Meyerink, Loretto Dennis Szucs, et al.

Note that an acceptable interpretation of “et al.” is “among others.”

While these abbreviations are incidental, they are often confused. Knowing when to use which helps make one’s writing sharper and more easily understood.

February 19, 2014

Wordwise Wednesday: A Blogging Meme for Writers

Because I’m probably going to focus more on writing over the next couple of years, I wanted a way to channel that energy into my blog. Don’t worry. I’m not giving up posting about local families and research. Instead, I wanted to have a place where I can explore genealogy and writing, and particularly the methods behind the madness, such as when to follow “the rules” and when to break them. As with all the blogging memes I use here, I won’t post every week, at least, not after the new’s worn off.

I know there are plenty of other genealogy-focused writers out there who blog, so feel free to take this meme and run with it. Have fun, explore your writing-crafty side, share your mad writing skills, and maybe we can all learn a thing or two.

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