When Should I Use I.E.?

I’m really sorry for posting this, initially, I thought it said “When Should I Collect UI?”

The Mayor knows he’s not the person who should be lecturing people on grammar, sentence structure, spelling, proper punctuation, or short-forms like i.e. But when it comes to UI (unemployment insurance in the land of the green eyed monsters), ya, I could learn ya a thing or two.

Punctuation and short-form though, that’s another matter entirely. When it comes to short-form The Mayor is about as helpful as a comb to the audience at a Rogaine seminar, i.e., three bushels of wheat.

Told you.

7 Responses to “When Should I Use I.E.?”

  1. paul mitchell Says:

    That last line cracked me up, got tears rolling down my face, and I swear I am going to laugh about it all day tomorrow.

  2. Mr Fnortner Says:

    Actually, the first example is not a well-formed example of i.e. The device is not needed at all, as the comma and the following phrase are all that are necessary. The phrase “a directional mine which explodes…” is known as an appositive, and is a clarifying or elaborating word or phrase positioned next to the word or phrase being explained. Examples: “My brother-in-law, a prince of a guy, lent me $1,000.” And “This is your last chance, the only opportunity you’ll get to make this right.” Here’s a good example of i.e.: “The best way to take out a unicorn is with a Claymore, i.e. blow the sucker to smithereens.”

  3. Binks, WebElf Says:


    That’s id est (that is).. use it, and use it often! Along with et cetera, exempli gratia (e.g.), and all the other great Latin phrases out there. Dead language? Pah!


  4. The Mayor Says:

    Mr Fnortner – I’ll have to give ya a blank stare on that one and trust what you’re saying is right. I only use I.E. when I know the other person doesn’t know what it means either.

    Binks – again, I’ll have to take your word on it. I’m just coming to grips with our friend, the comma.

  5. marc in calgary Says:

    oh … yeah.

  6. Mr Fnortner Says:

    Oh, the comma is a sneaky sort. Please, do be careful and don’t turn your back on it.

  7. Mr Fnortner Says:

    @Binks, WebElf: I don’t use a lot of Latin phrases myself, ceteris parabis, as their ad hoc use tends to clutter the discourse. Furthermore, persistent use is generally not bona fide, and may be considered showing off, ergo my reluctance. Yet, in vino veritas, so as WC Fields said, Everybody should believe in something — I believe I’ll have another drink. QED. Mea culpa.

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