i.e., e.g.,

These abbreviations take periods and are always followed by a comma.

The latter stands for the Latin exempli gratia, meaning "for example."

Emory students can choose from a wide variety of Atlanta entertainment options (e.g., museums, concerts, shopping).

Don't confuse e.g., with i.e., which stands for id est, or "that is." Whereas e.g., refers the reader to several possible examples of a given case, i.e., refers him or her to all examples of a case.

The rapper Jay-Z, i.e., Shawn Carter, was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1969.

See e.g., i.e.,

impact (verb)

Avoid using this word to mean affect. If you're unsure, insert the word affect in your sentence.

How will your decision affect her?
NOT How will your decision impact her? 

imply, infer

According to Webster's, infer means "to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises," whereas imply means to express indirectly.

I infer from his silence that he does not approve.
His silence implied disapproval.


The "ly" sounds as if the subject is performing, in a self-important way, whatever action is modified by importantly. Avoid by rephrasing.

More important, we offer free tuition.
NOT More importantly, we offer free tuition.

> See also: first, firstly, hopefully

Inc., LLC

According to CMS, in straight text, the word Inc. usually can be dropped from a company name. If used, it is not set off by commas, likewise LLC.

J. C. Penney announced that its stock is splitting.

Mediaset LLC has a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


American Indian is preferred to Indian.

> See: nationality and race


Whenever you can, avoid using this word (which works fine as an adjective) as a noun. In noun form, it can sound pretentious; use person instead.

She is an accomplished person.
NOT She is an accomplished individual.

If you're talking about more than one person, use people or persons, NOT individuals.


When a person uses initials instead of a first name, the space between the initials should be the same as that between the initials and last name: H. L. Mencken. Entire names represented by initials, like JFK, don't take periods.

in spite of

Despite means the same thing and is shorter.

insure, ensure, assure

> See: assure

in terms of

A piece of padding best omitted. Rephrase:

The salary made the job unattractive.
NOT The job was unattractive in terms of salary.

international students

Avoid describing non-American students as foreign. Instead, describe them as international students.

internet terms

> See: computer and internet terms

It is . . .

Generally, a weak beginning for a sentence. Recast:

I am proud to welcome the graduating class.
NOT It is with pride that I welcome the graduating class.

The same is true of the term there is.

its, it's

Possessive pronouns (its, ours, his, hers, theirs, yours) do not take apostrophes. Its means belonging to it; it's is a contraction for it is.

> See also: apostrophe (Punctuation Particulars)