Scientific English as a Foreign Language
Answers to Lesson of January 27, 1999
Some Useful Latin Words

Latin raises its ancient hand in scientific English. Here are some of the more commonly used Latin words.

        ad hoc

    for the special purpose or end

        anno Domini (A.D.)

    in the year of our Lord; a date after Christ

        ante meridiem (a.m.)
        post meridiem (p.m.)

    before noon
    after noon

        circa (ca.)

    about; used especially in approximate dates

        et alia (et al.)

    and others; and elsewhere

        et cetera (etc.)

    and others; and so forth; and so on

        exempli gratia (e.g.)

    for example; such as

        ibidem (ibid.)

    in the aformentioned place


    the same as previously given

        id est (i.e.)

    that is

        in situ

        ex situ

    a. in place or position; undisturbed
    b. in a localized state or condition
    the opposite of in situ

        opere citato (op. cit.)

    in the work cited (In other words, op. cit. means that you don't know the page number.)


    thus; so. Used to indicate that a surprising word in the text is not a mistake or is quoted verbatim.

        vice versa

    conversely; in reverse order from that stated



        vide ante
        vide infra
        vide post
        vide supra

    see before
    see below
    see after
    see above

        videlicet (viz.)

    that is to say; namely

Do you know how to use them correctly? More than one answer may be right.

1. This concept was explained earlier in this chapter (vide p.342).
2. The paper by Smith et al. disagrees with your findings.
3. The experiment was performed in situ or ex situ.
4. Friction is manifest in everyday life: the brakes of cars, skating on ice, etc.
5. For the moment, we concentrate on explaining the first effect (_______ for the second effect).
vide ante, vide infra, vide post, vide supra
6. I. Can B. Funny, The Journal of Irreproducible Results 42, 300 (2000); idem or ibid. p. 412.
7. I. Can B. Funny, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, op.cit. (2000).
8. I have many meetings today, i.e. or viz., students at 11:00, lunch at 12:30, and class at 15:00.
9. I have many meetings today, e.g., students at 11:00.
10. He was born ca. 40 B.C. (Before Christ)
11. He was born 32 A.D.
12. I'll meet you at the train station at 3:00 a.m. or p.m.
13. He signed his name as e.e. cummings (sic).
14. He likes me and vice versa.
15. The committee was formed ad hoc to look into that problem.

At the atomic level, we have new kinds of forces and new kinds of possibilities, new kinds of effects. The problems of manufacture and reproduction of materials will be quite different. I am, as I said, inspired by the biological phenomena in which chemical forces are used in repetitious fashion to produce all kinds of weird effects (one of which is the author).

-R.P. Feynman, 1959

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Created January 27, 1999, by Nancy Burnham and Fred Hutson.