(My writing pet peeves, part 2)
Scientific writing is sprinkled with Latin. Yes, there are “Latin” (or “scientific”) names of organisms, and those can be unexpectedly fascinating; but that’s not my topic today. Instead, it’s those little words and phrases, often abbreviated: i.e., e.g., versus, sensu lato. Danger lurks for those who don’t use them carefully – and it lurks in cf. especially, it seems. In fact, the misuse of cf. is high on my list of writing pet peeves. It also carries a broader lesson, which I’ll get to.
So what’s the problem with cf.? Continue reading