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Q: et. el. ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: et. el.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: wnan-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 30 Jun 2005 12:24 PDT
Expires: 30 Jul 2005 12:24 PDT
Question ID: 538812
what does the "et. el." mean? People us e ut (or something like it,
sometimes with "etc.".

Request for Question Clarification by pinkfreud-ga on 30 Jun 2005 12:30 PDT
Could it be "et al." rather than "et. el."?
Subject: Re: et. el.
Answered By: librariankt-ga on 30 Jun 2005 21:00 PDT
Hi Wnan,

Et al. is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase "et alia" (the neuter
plural - it can also be et allii - male - or et aliae - female), which
literally means "and others".  It is distinguished from etc. (an
abbreviation for the Latin phrase "et cetera" or "and the rest") in
that et al. usually - but not always - is applied to lists of
specified persons/objects while etc. is usually - but not always -
applied to unspecified persons/objects.  For example, in a list of
authors on a book you might see: John Smith, Jane Doe, Edward Jones,
et al.  However, in a list of household items you'd see: dish, spoon,
fork, etc.

Here are definitions (with their links) from the Columbia Guide to
Standard English:

et al.
"[Et al.] is a Latin tag, an abbreviation of et alii (masculine), et
aliae (feminine), or et alia (neuter), meaning ?and [the] others.? The
period after al. is sometimes omitted in English, and the phrase is so
much used that it often is not printed in italics. It is regularly
used in footnotes to save space, and it also occurs in expository
prose, even in some Edited English, despite some conservative

etc.; et cetera
"Etc. is an abbreviation of the Latin tag et cetera, which means ?and
the rest,? ?and the like, ?and so on,? or ?and so forth.? Conservative
practice often objects to its being used in expository prose, but it
is Standard at nearly all levels, always either pronounced in full (ET
SET-uhr-uh or ET SET-ruh) or freely translated as ?and so forth? or
?and (the) others? but usually abbreviated in writing. Don?t use it
after e.g., since that ?for example? has already selected from the
crowd. Avoid the frequent Substandard blunder of saying or writing and
etc.?et means ?and.? Retain the period after the abbreviation, and
never, never misspell it ect or mispronounce it ek SET-uhr-uh."

I found these definitions by going to the Bartleby Reference page at and searching first for "et al" and
then for "et cetera".  Please let me know if I can help further!

Subject: Re: et. el.
From: pforcelli-ga on 30 Jun 2005 14:38 PDT
et al = abbreviation for the latin phrase "et alii"  or "et aliae"
which means "and others"
or "et alius" which means "and another"
or "et alibi" which means "and elsewhere"
Subject: Re: et. el.
From: ca1875-ga on 30 Jun 2005 15:57 PDT
et al.
means "and others" and is often used with references to book authors. 
You don't put a period after the et but you use a period after the al
Subject: Re: et. el.
From: myoarin-ga on 30 Jun 2005 16:09 PDT
I think "et al." is also short for "et aliter", "and others", used
when referring to additional unname persons rather than things, when
"et cetera" is appropriate.

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