Use Latin Abbreviations Sparingly
In the days when every student was required to study Latin, there was no problem with using Latin abbreviate, especially in formal writing. However, with Latin being removed from the average curriculum and the number of ESL/EFL readers, Latin terms are no longer commonly understood.
There are a few which are generally acceptable in formal writing, but even these are often better translated into English or written out in full.
Anonymous = anon.
Ibidem (in the same place) = ibid.
Nota Bene = N.B.
Requiescat in pace (Rest In Peace) = R.I.P.
If there are commonly used Latin abbreviations in the field about which you’re writing, those would be acceptable; for instance, law papers will use an extraordinary number of Latin terms, and writing them out over and over again would possibly be detrimental to the writer’s sanity. In such cases, the term should be written out in full the first time it’s used, and then the abbreviation would be appropriate for each consequent use.
The following list of Latin abbreviations are acceptable in all forms of writing:
Circa (about, around) = c. or ca.
Et alii (and others) = et al.
Exempli gratia (free example) = e.g.
Id est (that is) = i.e.
Versus (against) = vs.
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