Sunday, June 14, 2009

And so on...and so on...

I tend to use etc. fairly often in my blog entries, but I am going to do my best to get away from it. Etc. is the abbreviation for the Latin et cetera, and is correctly written as two words, rather than one as shown in the picture; the Latin meaning is 'and others' and the English is 'and so on.' It is very easy to tack on an etc. to the end of listed items in a sentence, but my reading tells me that it is not considered "polished," and is sometimes thought to be used by writers who can't think of anything else to add. Ouch! As I thought about my use of it, I think it is probably fairly redundant. If I have a list of three or more items, is it necessary to add an etc.? If I can only think of one example to give, I need to think a little harder, don't I?

I can't say that I'll stop the use of etc. entirely (and I can't write et cetera without hearing Yul Brynner intone it in my head), but I am going to make a conscious effort to be more aware of my usage of the abbreviation, and try to ensure that I do not overuse it.

7 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

Now that I have read this, I will tell two friends, and then that will inspire them to tell two friends, ad infinitum!

I like that better than etc. (but not better than xtc!) or et cetera.

Anywho, I don't think that ... well, maybe you do use 'etc.' a lot, but your use of that abbreviation isn't any worse than my abuse of the ellipse in my writing!

Joann said...

VERY interesting... I never really gave it much thought. I would have to extend the paragraph just to say 'and that sort of thing' instead of the simple 'etc.'

I hope it won't bother anyone if I still use it... I LIKE what 'etc.' stands for, there's a reason we use it so much... LOL!!

The Prodigal Tourist said...

I try to delete etceteras (and e.g.s!) when I edit. It does look like the author ran out of ideas--or is scared you'll think they only have 3 ideas!) I find it particularly unnecessary when the list starts with "including." Reminds me of that book on commas, eats, shoots and runs, remember?

Liz said...

If it is not worth commenting on directly then leave it unsaid.

Allen said...

I use etc once in awhile. But I do try to stay away from it.

G Lucciano said...

Only if you want to.. (LOL)
Either way your writing is delightful...
I enjoyed it!

Bonnie Bonsai said...

I think it is common habit that from time to time, we unconsciously use a particular word often that we can think of.

My boss in the pharmacy where I used to work had this irksome phrase in every single sentence he says: "so much so"... Grrr...

There was one point in time that in my entire blogs and comments I overused the word "privileged" ... because I could not think of anything appropriate to substitute it. And my mind was too tired thinking.

Thanks. You make me feel good. That means I'm not alone in this literary dilemma. lol