The Oscars are coming up, so there is a lot of talk about movies at my work. Here is a snippet from a conversation I had with someone yesterday:
Colleague: Did you see Silver Linings Playbook?
Me: Yes. I think it might actually be my favorite.
Colleague: Wasn’t Bradley Cooper great?
Me: He was, but have you seen him in that interview speaking French?
Yes, I am still obsessed with this interview from back in April 2012 when Mr. Cooper was promoting Hangover 2. It might be the sexiest thing I have ever seen. In my opinion, it’s his best performance to date.
In general, I think it’s so impressive when someone is bilingual. And since I am not bilingual but still like to be impressed with myself, I’ll slip in some foreign words every now and then.
For example, if someone asks me how I’m feeling, I might answer, “I am currently experiencing a bit of ennui.” And, voilà, I feel better about myself.
That’s why I am so happy that we use i.e. and e.g. in the English language. I.e. is the abbreviation for the Latin term id est and e.g. is the abbreviation for the Latin term exemplia gratia. Latin is super impressive!
I’ve already covered the difference in meaning between the two in this blog post, but what about how to punctuate them? Do they belong in parentheses? Do they require commas before? Commas after? Semicolons? Oh my!
The general consensus is that in the U.S. i.e. and e.g. are either encased in commas OR in parentheses followed by a comma:
Bradley Cooper’s best performance, i.e., his interview in French, should have won an award for best foreign film.
Bradley Cooper’s best performance (i.e., his interview in French) should have won an award for best foreign film.
This website says it’s okay to use a semicolon preceding i.e. and e.g. rather than a comma:
There are other hot actors who are bilingual; e.g., Viggo Mortensen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Colin Firth.