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Thread: Namely vs i.e.

  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Question Namely vs i.e.

    I found something interesting about namely and i.e. (that is to say): "while both aim to clarify, only namely makes the meaning more specific." This would mean that namely explains (gives further details) whereas i.e. just adds some information that should be more or less known to the reader. Two following examples accompany and are to confirm this statement:
    a. This summer we visited Stonehenge and Avebury, i.e. two prehistoric sites.
    b. This summer we visited two prehistoric sites, namely Stonehenge and Avebury.

    There is indeed a difference in the meaning between the two sentences. However, looking at what CALD gives, I can't find this difference. In fact, I can't find any other source to confirm this, well, quite important statement (or should I say--claim?). Thus the question is: is there any difference (besides that in spelling ) between namely and i.e.?

    Many thanks,
    Nyggus

    --
    And, by the way, I'd appreciate any comments on grammar of what I've written about, namely the whole post. (Or i.e.?)

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    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Namely vs i.e.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    a. This summer we visited Stonehenge and Avebury, i.e. two prehistoric sites.
    b. This summer we visited two prehistoric sites, namely Stonehenge and Avebury
    in the 1st sentence i.e. is correct meaning "that is".

    the 2nd sentence is OK, 'namely' being followed by an enumeration of 2 items or more (detailing smth mentioned as a whole before it).

    The Latin behind i.e. is id est ("that is"). So, you can use i.e. if it can be substituted for "that is" and if there's only one example. Namely enumerates two or more items, unlike i.e. - one item.

    By the way: namely and viz. are the same thing.
    ___________________________________
    Namely/viz and i.e., are sometimes used interchangeably, but Edited English prefers that any distinction between “namely” and “that is” be kept.
    Last edited by bianca; 07-Sep-2007 at 20:08.

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    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Namely vs i.e.

    Thanks, Bianca. This is exactly what follows from this book I am reading. But what is the Edited English? I haven't heard of this.

  4. #4
    bianca is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Namely vs i.e.

    [quote=nyggus;207306]Thanks, Bianca. This is exactly what follows from this book I am reading. But what is the Edited English? I haven't heard of this.[/quote]

    I was referring to the conventions of standard written English (or of edited English) which is mainly about writing well-formed sentences (with generally correct grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, and so on.)
    Last edited by bianca; 07-Sep-2007 at 20:45.

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