Confusing

From the style guidelines of an academic journal:

Latin terms such as op. cit., loc. cit., ibid. and the like, which can be confusing, are not permitted.

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8 thoughts on “Confusing”

  1. Oh, this is horrible. If you can’t face those, give up your degree and renounce the profession. I had an Ed.D. colleague who could not handle these, but every lawyer can.

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  2. I don’t know how confusing they are but I find the Latin abbreviations unnecessary. (Truth be told, I am not familiar with all the abbreviations you listed.) I think there are better and clearer ways to do citations; both Chicago and MLA style have long suggested avoiding the Latin abbreviations.

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    1. Of course, they’d be unnecessary if I were allowed to use the MLA style. But instead I’m supposed to use a crazy in-house style where I get to repeat the name and the title like a crazy bunny every time I cite.

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  3. I think Latin abbreviations are best used sparingly (I don’t even like etc). As someone who somemtimes has to edit academic work written in English by (mostly) Polish authors the overuse of Latin abbreviations can make normal prose heavy and all but unreadable.

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  4. I think this is going in the right direction as far as reducing confusion is concerned, but I don’t think it goes far enough. English, or any language, really, can be pretty confusing as well, after all, and we should start thinking on how to best replace it. Is there any way to transfer grunts, growls and gesticulations into a written form?

    The reason behind the importance of Latin and Greek is pretty arbitrary and I relate to people who find learning languages taxing… But those languages have at least two thousand years of scholarship to them, and they’re used as the basis for the terminology of nearly every serious science or field of inquiry. If you’re not putting in a token effort to at learn little bit of the vocabulary at least, then you’re throwing out inconceivably large chunks of the best, most thoroughly tested, disputed and discussed bits of human experience.

    Part of me admires the confidence of the culture that implicitly says that it’ll be just fine without all that. Another part of me is scared shitless.

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