Monthly Archives: May 2014

What do i.e., e.g., viz and other Latin terms mean?

There are all these terms and abbreviations we see everyday in various texts. As we see them, we often have just a vague understanding of what they mean, and make a mental note to one day find out what, but then we never do. So, today, I decided to educate myself better, and help you all too 😉

i.e. id est. “That is more precisely.” Literally, “it is.” Commonly used to refine a general statement or provide additional information. Usage: “Jerry’s girlfriend always managed to turn the conversation toward children, i.e., the possibility of having children together.”

e.g. exempli gratia. “For example.” Literally, “free as an example.” Usage: “We have numerous problems to deal with before reforming welfare policies, e.g., the trade deficit, Medicare, and social security.”

viz. videlicit. “More appropriately or accurately; namely.” The abbreviation is often used interchangeably with i.e. Literally, “As it befits or is pleasing to him.” Usage: “He was a minor Duke in the House of Lords, viz. the Duke of Rochester.”

sic. Literally, “yes” or “even thus” in Latin. It indicates a misspelling or error in a quoted source, in order to verify to the reader that the researcher did not create a typographical error, but instead exactly reproduces the way the word or statement appeared in the original material. Usage: There are, according to the writings of seven-year old Andrew, “Manee wayes of riting words” [sic].

cf. confere. A Latin imperative suggesting the reader should compare and contrast one statement or idea with another one. Literally, “compare.” Researchers often follow the abbreviation with a reference to an author or page number, suggesting the reader look for similarities and differences between what a previous citation has said with the subsequent source listed.

t.i.d. ter in die. “Three times a day.” Used by older pharmacies and doctors to indicate that a medication should be taken three times a day. Usage: “Aspirin, t.i.d.; call if headaches continue.”

s.p.s.sine prole supersite. “Without surviving issue.” The phrase is used in inheritance laws to indicate that an individual has no children or legal inheritors. Usage: “Since Mrs. Clayton died s.p.s., her six million dollar estate will revert to the City of Portland.”

P.S. post scriptum. The abbreviation indicates a last-minute addition to a letter or document. Literally, “After what has been written.” Usage: “That’s all for now. Take care. Love, John. P.S. Don’t forget to write me back!”

N.B.: Nota Bene. The Latin imperative means “Take notice of this very carefully,” that is, pay special attention to this part because it is unusually important, tricky, or confusing. Usage: All assignments are due at the beginning of class. N. B.: I lock the door to the classroom once lecture begins.

R.S.V.P. Repondez S’il Vous-Plait. “Please send a response confirming whether or not you will accept the invitation.” The abbreviation is French rather than Latin. Literally, “Respond please.” (S’il vous-plait are four French words that mean ‘please’). Note that it is redundant to write, “Please RSVP,” since the phrase itself implies “please.” Usage: “You are cordially invited to a wine-and-cheese reception at the Bradson’s House. RSVP by Thursday afternoon.”

Vos crostino :)! (See you tomorrow – in Latin, of course)


WABI-SABI — What the heck is that ?

Some readers may have seen this term before and others may be quite perplexed, wondering just what is this wabi-sabi?

2014-05-02 16_58_33Wabi-sabi is a Japanese expression, that represents a world view centered on our true everyday reality, which is closer to the real life form of objects and life in general, than the artificially perfected shape and form, which is far removed from its natural state.

Wabi-sabi thus acknowledges and accepts beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous (naïve, simple) integrity of natural objects and processes. Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.

2014-05-02 16_59_21If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi, nurturing all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, and so now I’m going to illustrate the wabi-sabi philosophy more concretely. What you see in the first image is a sculpture of the Indian goddess Saraswati, who represents knowledge, music, arts, wisdom, nature (the same as the Greek goddess Athena, and the Roman goddess Minerva). This statue has the pride of place in my home.

2014-05-02 16_59_38The second image is a close up of an imperfection in the wood the statue is carved out of, which subsequently cracked. The third image is a still closer look at the crack. So, is my statue defective? I vehemently have to say NO; it isn’t defective, it is in fact a perfect example of wabi-sabi art!

Look around you, in your home or office — can you spot any wabi-sabi objects? Next time you go out in nature, look around you — can you try and identify pleasing objects and parts of nature that could qualify as representations of the wabi-sabi philosophy? I’ll bet you’ll have a lot of fun :)!

Have a nice weekend everyone! ‘See’ you all soon!


Technology wimp no more :)

My knowledge of technology is not very strong and so, it has taken me months and months to buy myself a tablet, so I could blog on the go! I finally bought myself one, and this is my first blog post, on the go. I am absolutely delighted to be sitting in this office building, with 2 hours to kill ( I don’t really like this expression, it sounds violent to me, but will leave it here  this time, because it does exist 🙂 )… between two ESL students. For long, I considered this sort of waiting a waste of time (waste is better than kill 🙂 ), an occupational hazard that I just had to learn to deal with. But it always bothered me that on some days my blog post didn’t get written at the end of the day, either because my days were too long, or I was too tired by the end of the day — and yet, I’d had time during the day but no access to a computer. Lugging my laptap around was not an option, as I didn’t like carrying the extra weight. And now, I’m going to be just fine :)))

Another thing II’m really thrilled about is that even though this building, where I am right now, doesn’t have an open wi-fi, I have learned to create a hotspot with my phone so that my tablet has a wi-fi connection :)! Yaaayyyy… from being a tech-zero, I’m feeling like a tech-hero!!! The next thing to accomplish is downloading pictures, and I’ll be all set :)!

Yippy dabadoo 🙂 🙂 🙂