Do you agree? Is this the slippery slope to seeing much loved Latin abbreviations eradicated from a ‘plain English’ Britain? When forced to think about it, I realised I don’t use too many of these abbreviations in my own writing – eg: (!) I tend to write out the words ‘For example.’ There again, are foreigners and natives alike too dense to learn and understand a few abbreviations without it being a dart in the side of plain English? Also, at what cost to us the taxpayer to rid government sites of the offending abbreviations like ie, eg, etc, etc, etc? Ed
The government is to ban all Latin abbreviations on all its websites to avoid confusing non-English speakers, it has been announced.
Phrases such as etc, ie, and eg will be phased out from all GOV.UK sites because foreign speakers find them “difficult to read”.
A spokesman added the phrases could even confuse English speakers who were “under stress or in a hurry”. Campaigners said the decision was to give up Latin was “short-sighted” because they have been part of common parlance for hundreds of years.
But the Government Digital Service (GDS) said the move was designed to promote “plain English”.
GOV.UK includes the websites of all government departments as well as several other agencies and public bodies. The website receives millions of hits every month.
Writing on the blog Inside GOV.UK, GDS content manager Persis Howe explained: “We promote the use of plain English on GOV.UK. We advocate simple, clear language. Terms like eg, ie and etc, while common, make reading difficult for some.
Read on | The Telegraph