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June 16, 2007


Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross

Thanks for a very succint explanation. I ran into this very issue last week when editing a guest post. The author had meant "e.g." when she used "i.e." I thought she was in error but when I went to consult my faithful Strunk & White, I found I had misplaced it. (Horrors!) I evidentially found the answer in "Guide To Effective Military Writing." No, really:-) Your explanation was shorter and better.



Dan Santow

Thanks, Glenn. In the past I would consult Strunk & White about things, too, but to be honest, I never actually found it useful so I've pretty much let it sit on my shelf and gather dust.

Sarah McEvoy

This refresher literally came at the perfect moment. I was finalizing a proposal for a client and was wondering about correct punctuation after i.e. and e.g. (I am horrified to admit that I had not considered the punctuation that comes before.) I had included both commas and colons after each and was in the process of choosing which one to go with for consistency when your email came through. It was a eureka grammar moment!

I look forward to Word Wise every week. Thanks to your tips, we are all better writers.


Dan - The handy way I always remembered these (something I made up in school to help myself to remember):

i.e., = I’ll Explain (the pasta is made from dough, kneaded, put through a machine, boiled, etc.). I'll explain the process, content or example.

e.g., = Examples Given (elbow, spiral, angel hair, etc.) A list of examples of what I'm talking about are given.

Hope that helps someone else, too.

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Why "Word Wise"?

  • When I started to e-mail out a weekly writing tip to my Chicago colleagues at Edelman in 2002, little did I know how quickly how many people outside my office would start to request it. But word spread, as word is wont to do, and in 2006 the e-mail evolved into this blog. The tips, which are about grammar, usage and style, have a dual purpose – to remind my colleagues in PR of the power of the written word and, more generally, to support and perpetuate clear, concise, creative, honest, lively, stylish, compelling writing everywhere. In 2009 I started to add commentary about and links to stories and other blog posts related to the media, marketing, writing and, sometimes, just interesting stuff. For some reason, I also started Twittering (at SantowDan).