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.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
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?