[visionlist] [cvnet] [External] Re: Abbreviations

Todd, James todd.44 at osu.edu
Fri Apr 29 12:58:09 -04 2022

When I first started out in the field before the internet was invented, the copy editors would hand edit manuscripts and send them back for approval. Sometimes they would include brief lectures on the "correct" usage of various words, such as which and that, between and among, etc., usually accompanied by a xeroxed page from a style manual. I was terrorized by those lectures. They made me feel like I was in a 7th grade English class again. At some point I submitted a paper that had several sentences in the subjunctive mood (e.g., If hypothesis A were true, we would expect cats to fall from the sky, but if hypothesis B were true, we would expect the falling animals to be sharks. The copy editor changed each instance of were to was. I could not resist the temptation. I sent back a letter in the most pedantic tone I could muster that said: In English, when speaking about hypotheticals, we use the subjunctive mood, and I included the relevant page from Strunk ad White. Of course, I knew that the subjunctive mood is gradually disappearing from English, but that small bit defiance gave me great pleasure.

I now generally defer to most copy edits, but I will dig in my heals if they add something or take something out that I think makes a passage sound awkward or difficult to understand. I cannot think of a single instance where they did not honor my requests with respect such changes.

I also have a recent paper in JOV with many instances of e.g. and i.e. and none of them were removed. Perhaps they hired someone new who is on a mission to strip Latin phrases from scientific writing. My advice Qasim is to just put them back before you accept the editorial changes. It is, after all, your paper!

Jim Todd
From: visionlist <visionlist-bounces at visionscience.com> on behalf of Brian Timney <timney at uwo.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2022 6:31 PM
To: Johnson, Chris A <chris-a-johnson at uiowa.edu>; vabillock <vabillock at att.net>
Cc: cvnet at mail.ewind.com <cvnet at mail.ewind.com>; visionlist at visionscience.com <visionlist at visionscience.com>
Subject: Re: [visionlist] [cvnet] [External] Re: Abbreviations

Lots of people misuse “which” , which I understand. But it is appropriate when it is referring to something incidental to the meaning of the sentence (usually when the clause is set off by commas). The general rule is that if you can remove

Lots of people misuse “which” , which I understand. But it is appropriate when it is referring to something incidental to the meaning of the sentence (usually when the clause is set off by commas). The general rule is that if you can remove the clause without changing the meaning of the sentence, “which” is appropriate.

Brian Timney

Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Western University


From: cvnet <cvnet-bounces at lawton.ewind.com> on behalf of Johnson, Chris A via cvnet <cvnet at lawton.ewind.com>
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 6:09 PM
To: Vincent Billock <vabillock at att.net>
Cc: cvnet at mail.ewind.com <cvnet at mail.ewind.com>, visionlist at visionscience.com <visionlist at visionscience.com>
Subject: Re: [cvnet] [External] Re: Abbreviations

Many years ago the editor for the American Journal of Ophthalmology changed every which to that, made the presentation be in first person (even with multiple authors), and made many other changes without permission.

Chris Johnson

Emeritus Professor, Univ. of Iowa Dept. of Ophthalmology

Chris Johnson Sent from my iPhone

On Apr 28, 2022, at 4:48 PM, Vincent Billock via cvnet <cvnet at lawton.ewind.com> wrote:

I once had a journal edit out the word 'mayhap' after the article was accepted.  I was annoyed.  Mayhap is an awesome word and deserves to be printed.

I also had a journal question my use of the word 'gift' as a verb.  In my reply I cited both Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Blade Runner as  precedents, so they let it in.  At least they asked first.

In general I dislike the high-handed behavior of copy editors.

'et alia' is lovely.  Maybe I'll try slipping that in next time.

Vince Billock

On Thursday, April 28, 2022, 3:30:49 PM EDT, Karen Gunther <guntherk at wabash.edu> wrote:

I just had a paper published in JOV, and I have both e.g. and i.e. multiple times in my paper (final version, not edited out).

I would LOVE to change “et al.” to “et alia”.  Students never know where the period goes.  And “al.” is hardly any shorter than “alia”.

·         Karen


Dr. Karen L. Gunther, PhD

Professor of Psychology

Chair, Institutional Review Board

Chair, Psychology Division, Council on Undergraduate Research

Baxter 322

Psychology Department

Wabash College

301 W. Wabash Ave.

Crawfordsville, IN  47933


Preferred pronouns:  she, her

From: cvnet <cvnet-bounces at lawton.ewind.com> On Behalf Of Qasim Zaidi via cvnet
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2022 1:14 PM
To: cvnet at mail.ewind.com; visionlist at visionscience.com
Subject: [cvnet] Abbreviations

Does anyone know why "e.g."  and  "i.e." are being edited out of journals, especially JOV?  They're well understood concise short-hand for cumbersome longer phrases, so I would like to understand the objections to using them.



Qasim Zaidi PhD
SUNY Distinguished Professor

Graduate Center for Vision Research,
State University of New York College of Optometry,
33 West 42nd St, New York, NY  10036.
Office: 212-938-5542; Lab: 212-938-5756; Fax: 212-938-5537
E-mail: qz at sunyopt.edu<mailto:qz at sunyopt.edu>

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