Talk:Et cetera

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Added the "&e." for abbreviation. (talk) 21:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

User:Sinuhe wrote (a long time ago): "When dealing with lists of persons, it is considered extremely inappropriate and insulting to use et cetera instead of et al. (which stands for et alii) or and others." Really? I always thought "et al" means "and others" while "et cetera" meant "and others of the same ilk". Can someone please clarify, and provide citations? Thanks. Ambarish 19:44, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I recant my alternate spelling et cætera. I cannot find evidence of this. --Zippanova 20:36, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Yeah on the French article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cameron Nedland (talkcontribs) 21:26, 7 December 2006 (UTC).


Is it truly archaic? I read it in a book when I was 10 and adopted it as my spelling of choice thereafter. It's always been understood, too.

Juppiter 17:16, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm afraid so. Assuming that you're not archaic, how old was the book that you read? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:45, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

User:Randolf Richardson 2005-Aug-15/17:58 (PT)

I've been using it somewhat frequently over the years (including in public eMail discussions, NNTP/newsgroups, IRC, and various other online forums including those that are web-based) since I learned about it in high school, and then came upon additional references in some dictionaries (not all dictionaries seem to document it).
There are others who use it also, and since only two people have ever asked me what the meaning is my assumption has been that it's not archaic (but that this could be a "wish" of those who dislike it for whatever reason); I certainly agree that it's not very common.
I continue to use it, and if you don't have problems with your audience asking you what it means, complaining about it, &c, then I don't see why you should stop either as it's a very nice abbreviation that, in particular, seems fairly easy for those who haven't seen it before to figure out its meaning.
Kurt Vonnegut refers to it as universal sameness

(First, could you sign by placing four tildes (~~~~) after your comments?) Thanks; it makes things much clearer, and makes the date and time standard.)

There may be a trans-Atlantic difference (I have a feeling that I've seen some of my U.S. visiting students use it in essays). Alternatively, it may be archaic so far as professional printers, publishers, etc., are concerned, while lingering in personal usage. That people understand it is hardly surprising — it can be found in older books and, as you point out, it doesn't take much to work out what it means given context. Note in any case that no-one's saying that you shouldn't use it; you're free to use whatever style you want (though not on Wikipedia, of course). We're only discusssing what the article should say. (Oh, and I don't dislike it — I'm just following the various sources I've read, and my personal experience.) --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:22, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

etc as an acronym[edit]

An interesting idea is to make "etc" as an acronym, meaning "Extraneous Textual Context." In Unix it could mean "Extra Textual Configuration." STrRedWolf 02:51, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

While an interesting idea, that would, of course, be a backronym, rather than an acronym. 06:36, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
The preceding comment was me. Go go gadget failing to log in. Elyscape 06:37, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

etc. pp.?[edit]

Is et cetera perge perge common as well?--Hhielscher 20:29, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Why are there so few good Google results for "perge perge"? It seems to be common in a German context ... what does it mean? 16:41, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

edit: found one - "ich fahre fort" - that's "I go on"? hah :) 16:46, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Use of "etc." with "i.e." or "e.g."[edit]

I was taught that "etc." could be used after "i.e.", but not after "e.g.". I would appreciate any input on the validity of the above. Thank you.

Well, "i.e." means "that is", whereas "e.g." means "for example". Therefore...
I want a fruit (e.g. banana, apple, etc.). becomes I want a fruit (for example, banana, apple, and others).
I want the Nintendo systems (i.e. Game Boy, Nintendo 64, etc.). becomes I want the Nintendo systems (that is, Game Boy, Nintendo 64, and others).
Thus, using "etc." after "i.e." works, because you're defining something, whereas "e.g." doesn't work because you're giving examples. When giving examples, it's already implied that there are more of what you're listing, so using "etc." becomes redundant. Elyscape 06:48, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


This article only says what mispronunciation, but what the correct pronunciation is? Yao Ziyuan 16:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

It's Latin. Depending on where you learned Latin, you'll pronounce it differently. Based on personal experience I'd wager the English pronunciation would be something like "at setter-ruh", which is pretty similar to the way it's pronounced in colloquial German. — Ashmodai (talk · contribs) 21:07, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Speaking as an American, I can tell you that I pronounce it "et setter-uh" or "et setter-ah", not "at setter-uh". Elyscape 06:50, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Typing as an Australian, I can tell you we pronounce it e'seh-tra, et-se-tre, e'tse-trah, e'tse-treh and etSeh-teRA. Or if we want to be really fancy et se-te rah. Depends on ya aksen'. The Pastafarian Church (talk) 08:32, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Using etc. at the end of a sentence[edit]

What if I need to use etc. at the end of a sentence?

e.g. apples, oranges, etc..

is an additional period needed at the end, since it is the end of a sentence? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Daniel0ng (talkcontribs) 05:24, 21 January 2007 (UTC).

It only makes sense. You shouldn't just skip a piece of interpunction because it looks "strange", which I think is the reason some people use only one dot, whichever one of the two it's supposed to be. It's like people typing something between brackets, adding a smiley face, and not using a closing bracket. Considering the smiley is a character of sorts, the mouth is already the mouth, it can't be the closing bracket too. Maybe it's my programming experience that makes me more strict. I'm not saying that two periods is the right way, I don't know, I'm just saying that I think it is. :) Retodon8 23:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
No, there is no additional period. The convention is that when a sentence ends with a word that is spelled with a period (or "full stop" in UK English), exclamation mark or question mark, no additional period is used. Hence:
Buy apples, oranges, etc.
She was a contestant on Jeopardy!
He was a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

I don't have a source to hand, I'm afraid, but no doubt Wikipedia probably mentions this somewhere. — Paul G 16:08, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, this sounds to me like a very important subject matter. Most people get confused whether to write in a period at the end of a sentence containing this abbreviation. This should be included in the article. I agree that it looks strange when a sentence ends with an abbreviation, but according to Wikipedia on Abbreviations:

When an abbreviation appears at the end of a sentence, use only one period: The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C.

However, this statement is not sourced. WinterSpw (talk) 19:22, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


Can we get an accurate IPA pronunciation? Most commonly, it is pronounced [ɛt sɛt:ɛ:ɹæ], but it is commonly reduced to [ɛt sɛt:ɹæ]. Also, on one occasion, I have heard it pronounced [ɛt kɛt:ɛ:ɹæ] (this was in the Latinum spoken Latin podcast). Is there a ‘correct’ pronunciation, or do we go with majority? Max Naylor 11:17, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

In English, is /ˌɛt ˈsɛtəɹə/ (note the schwas; note also that the symbol ː is used lengthen the preceding vowel, not to separate syllables). See the Wiktionary article for this word. Anyone using the Latin pronunciation in English contexts is just being pretentious. — Paul G 16:08, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I Like This Article![edit]

I agree that the citations need attribution. But I like the breezy prose. (talk) 14:22, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

In Popular Culture[edit]

There's no "In Popular Culture" section. I think we should add one.-- (talk) 06:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Et multa cetera[edit]

I've seen et multa cetera on several sites in place of multiple et ceteras. Is this correct in any way or is this some form of faux grammar? —JadziaLover (talk | contribs) 11:10, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

"and others" versus "et al."[edit]

I recall a rule of using "and others" (i.e., English) instead of "et al." in a specific instance but I can't recall what that is. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Perhaps when citing authors as the subject of a sentence, as in: "Abel and others (2010) found . . ." --Spoofed IP (talk) 18:57, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

"et c."[edit]

Is it OK to abbreviate et cetera by leaving the space in between the words? So it becomes "et c."? Moberg (talk) 10:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Many pronounce it "eksetera"[edit]

Is it wrong? -- (talk) 02:29, 17 November 2011 (UTC) It is noted and considered nonstandard by — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:42, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Etceteros etc[edit]

I saw that someone added etceteros with only the remark "rare". I tried to look it up and found it mainly in non-English teexts. I am left wondering whether it is rare because it is wrong in English at least. Does anyone have any documentation for its origin and special meanings etceteros? JonRichfield (talk) 19:00, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

The Coin Picture[edit]

The picture seems like it doesn't have anything to do with the article. Perhaps it should be changed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Please explain your doubts. I am not the source of the picture, but as I see it, the picture is a clear example of the &c usage. The et ceterarum usage is described as indicating a particular significance. Why change that? JonRichfield (talk) 06:37, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Excessive use in Wikipedia?[edit]

It seems to me that "etc." is used excessively in Wikipedia articles. Is there any discussion of this use, and if so, where?--DThomsen8 (talk) 17:53, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Plural and singular & Pronunciation[edit]

Should we add eksetra as a pronunciation? In 'straya I hear many people say it sort of like this. Not quite, more a soft old gh or russian xa. I don't know the IPA.

ALSO, et ceteratum is listed as ynonymous with et cetera. I know this would be the Latin singular, but does anyone use it like this? Should we make a comment? After all, the wikipaedia is meant to be a repository of all tid-bits, but is this a tid-bit or something peculiar to Latin students & dictionary readers? Why do I not rewrite it instead of having so many disjointed question? No idea, you? The Pastafarian Church (talk) 08:44, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

Spelling: et cætera?[edit]

I first came across the spelling et cætera many years ago here.  I recall, however, asking a friend of mine who was at the time studying to be a Latin teacher about the ligature, and he expressed doubt about the authenticity of this alternative spelling.

The present article says, "It is also sometimes spelled et caetera, et coetera or et cœtera and is usually abbreviated to etc. or &c."  However, no source is included.

Can someone with a background in Latin please confirm whether this spelling was ever considered valid in the Latin era.  And, in the event that it never was, can anyone ascertain where this alleged alternative spelling came from?

allixpeeke (talk) 13:48, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

The trash can picture (Sign in Millbourne, PA)[edit]

This photo has nothing to do with Et cetera. To me it is clearly "E___ Trash Collection". Why is it here?

Et Cetera versus Etcetera[edit]

The Spellings and usages section states that "The one-word spelling "etcetera" is commonly used and is accepted as correct by many dictionaries." In my Merriam-Webster (American English) unabridged dictionary, et cetera is given as a phrase from latin that means "and others especially of the same kind : and so on : and so forth," just like the lead of this article; but it gives etcetera its own entry, as a noun, with the meaning "a number of various unspecified persons or things." The sentence in the article which I'm questioning is cited with an Oxford (British English) dictionary, although specialized as a dictionary of historical principles, and not unabridged. Does anyone have easy access to an Oxford dictionary, preferably unabridged? If Oxford and Webster agree, we should change the sentence. If Oxford merely gives etcetera as a variant of et cetera, then we can give coverage for both dialects.TheCensorFencer (talk) 17:33, 22 February 2016 (UTC)