That is, for example….

There are two abbreviations that often get confused: i.e. and e.g. Some folks use them interchangeably; unfortunately, that’s wrong.

I.e. is short for the Latin phrase id est, which means it is. It indicates that an explanation, or restatement, or related idea, is about to be presented. For instance:

She didn’t have a second date with Jim, i.e., she found him pretty boring.

Or….

We decided not to go out to dinner with them, i.e., we ended up eating at home after all.

E.g., on the other hand, is an abbreviation of a Latin phrase, exempli gratia, which means for example.

For instance:

I love old Hollywood classic, e.g., Casablanca and Gone with the Wind.

Or

Liz Taylor had a lot of husbands, e.g., Richard Burton, Eddy Fisher, Michael Wilding and Nicky Hilton, among others.

One crude but easy way to differentiate the two is that e.g., if put together as letters instead of abbreviations, sounds something like the beginning of the word example. Also, some have suggested that since i.e. can mean in other words, you just have to remember that phrase when you see the letter i in i.e.

So… I wish you all a Merry Christmas, i.e., may you have a blessed holiday season.

And…I hope that you receive all you ask for this year, e.g., clothing, jewelry, gift cards, or precious time with family and friends.

 

 

 

 

He/She and Him/Her

There’s too much misuse of these words to develop the full grisly picture in one little entry, and we’ll inevitably have to revisit the sorry subject. So we’ll just take one that makes the author physically cringe every time.

Never, ever, ever, ever say “Him and I did such-and-such” or “Her and I are going to the mall” or whatever. These are such grievous grammatical sins that one should hang one’s head in shame.

Say “He and I did such-and-such” or “She and I are going to the mall.”

The simple thought here is that if someone is doing the action, we say “he” or “she” is doing it. If something is being done to or for someone, we say “him” or her.”

Correct:

She and I are friends.

He and I are in the same class.

She and Fred went to the movies.

He and Emma are the worst couple ever.

 

Incorrect:

Her and I are friends.

Him and I are cousins.

Her and Fred hated the movie.

Her broke up with Emma, thank goodness.

 

Just keep saying “He and I” and “She and I” over and over until you can’t say anything other than that when beginning a sentence.

Could/Couldn’t Care Less

This takes just one good kick in the brain to get this forever. Sometimes we erroneously say, “I could care less” when we really mean, “I couldn’t care less.”

If I couldn’t care less, it means that I care as little as it is possible to care. In other words, we really don’t care at all.

If we say, “I could care less,” it means that we could possibly care less. That means we care a little about a situation all the way up to caring a lot about it. That’s not what we usually mean.

So, really, we almost never mean, “we could care less.” So let’s make sure we say, “I couldn’t care less” instead.

Some of you couldn’t care less about this, but I could care less!