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i.e vs viz. Options
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:19:26 AM

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I've just learnt a new word - viz. a contraction of videlicet. As I understand it means roughly the same as i.e. (id est).

Is there any difference between the two that might be of interest to an ESL learner?

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:48:01 AM

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A very good question.

The answer is . . . er . . .Think . . .er d'oh!

When I look them up in the dictionary, the common phrase is "that is" - so they do mean rather similar things.

As far as I can see, "viz." is part way between i.e. and e.g.

vi·del·i·cet adverb
That is; namely. Used to introduce examples, lists, or items.

(The definition is virtually identical in all three TFD dictionaries)

So it seems that the difference in usage is that:

i.e. tends to be used to introduce ONE explanatory noun phrase, which is an exact replacement for the original.
He closed the door: i.e. the piece of wood which blocked the entrance.

e.g. tends to introduce one example which is typical of the original word or phrase.
He likes animals: e.g. dogs.

viz. should be used to introduce a list of examples, which would explain the original phrase.
He likes animals: viz. dogs, cats, rabbits and horses.
(As the examples are all pets, the 'viz' tends to give the idea that you mainly mean 'domestic animals'.

I had to look it up before I could explain - it is not a "common knowledge" datum.

"viz." is not so often used as "i.e." and "e.g."


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:29:31 AM

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Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
A very good question.

I wouldn't ask a question that I could figure out the answer to by myself. :)

Thank you very much!

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 11:25:24 AM
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NOT A TEACHER

Hello, XX:

May I add my two bits to DragOnspeaker's excellent explanation?

1. Some people when they speak will pronounce the letters and some people will say the actual (English) words:

a. I have visited many island nations, e.g., Japan, Iceland, and Singapore. / I have visited many island nations; for example, Japan, Iceland, and Singapore.

2. They do the same with "i.e." and "that is."

3. Some usage books suggest saying the actual words. I personally think that saying the actual words sounds nicer.

4. I do NOT know which choice is preferred by most American speakers.



Have a nice day!
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2017 11:44:03 AM

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Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
TheParser wrote:
3. Some usage books suggest saying the actual words. I personally think that saying the actual words sounds nicer.

Thank you, TheParser!

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
thar
Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 1:35:12 AM

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You don't say it, or write it in normal work.


The reason you don't say it comfortably may be because it is not an abbreviation.
The 'z' is not a sound in the word. It was a writers' mark on manuscripts to signify the missing -et ending.. It was printers who made it a 'z'. Saying the sound makes no sense as an abbreviation.

I prefer 'to wit'. It invites 'to woo'. Whistle
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Sunday, March 12, 2017 1:53:42 AM

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Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
thar wrote:
I prefer 'to wit'. It invites 'to woo'. Whistle

Ok! I'll write 'viz.' and say 'to wit' as The Parser says. :)

Thank you!

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, March 13, 2017 9:00:06 AM

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Can it be that e.g. intruduces one or several examples out of a longer list, while viz. introduces the complete and exhaustive list?

E.g.

There are nine planets in the Solar system, viz. Mercury, Venus, Earth,..., and Pluto. ("e.g." doesn't seem to work here, and "i.e." doesn't seem to be a good option either)

Some planets are gas giants, e.g. Jupiter.

Some planets are gas giants, i.e. believed not to have a solid core.
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