What's with the abbreviation?

In the help/speak page, under “How do I tutor conversations?” it says:

“If they are not online when you call, it is their responsibility to join in late. NB. You must have Skype installed on your computer to tutor on LingQ.”

I have no idea what this “NB.” means.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to be using abbreviations since there are users from all over the world.

N.B. = nota bene = note well = pay attention!!! I do think abbreviations are ok. IMO the whole internet is crawling with them.

You think abbreviations are OK on a help page? I think it’s not very helpful if user’s can’t understand them. A help page is supposed to be as helpful as possible. Just because the help page is on the internet doesn’t mean that it can be compared to the rest of the internet.

The N.B. caught your attention!

According to your page it says that English your native language. I am amazed that you haven’t come across N.B. before. It’s extremely common, to the point where it’s a reasonable assumption that an educated speaker of English will understand it.

Should etc, e.g. and i.e. always be spelt out?

I have never heard of NB either, and I can assure you that I am an educated speaker of English.

eta: It sounds like a legal term to me.

I know what NB means, but I didn’t know the Latin bit. Thanks SanneT

I am astounded.

On this site there is a list of Latin abbreviations a GCSE student (15-16 years old) would be expected to know:

a.m. & p.m., cf., e.g., et al., etc., i.e., N.B., P.S., Q.E.D., q.v., viz.

“NB please” - ~1.5 million results
“NB don’t” - ~0.85 million
“NB it is not” - ~0.5 million
There probably are some there that don’t mean ‘Nota Bene’, but most seem to be.
It’s really not uncommon at all.

I guess you’re going to think I’m really dumb, I’ve never heard of cf. or qv. either.

Aybee: What does “eta” mean in your post?

Roan: I know all those but q.v. as far as the usage is concerned. However I have never actually used q.v., Q.E.D or N.B. As for cf. I use it only rarely in academic papers.

As for the Latin words they represent and their specific meaning, I know only a.m and p.m. (ante meridian and post meridian)

However I wonder if on the GCSE “to know” means to to know the Latin, or just the usage?


above explains a few of these ( also Roan’s link)

I am not sure why you need both qv and cf

We are not about to go through our help pages, in various languages, to change any abbreviations or terms that some people may find obscure. Any of these terms can be googled or looked up in a dictionary. We learn new things every day.

To me, Latin abbreviations such as etc., e.g. i.e., cf. NB are international enough to be used on a help page, and I’m astounded that even native speakers don’t use their intution (or look it up in any search engine).

What is common usage to some is not necessarily common usage to others. As a native speaker I am constantly coming across terms that others consider common, and that I simply have not come across. New terms appear, and older terms fall out of favour. No big deal. There are so many tools to look these things up now.

eta = edited to add. It’s internet speak to indicate that someone has edited their post.

Thank you for your explanation aybee77, I had wondered about a role for either ETA or ETA in this thread.

You are right , Steve . Google has all the answers.

Yes, ‘know’ means ‘know how to use’.

cf. and q.v. mean different things.

bought: past participle of buy (q.v.)
large: of great size (cf. big)

q.v. ‘which see’ for a reference that may give more information on the current subject
cf. ‘compare with’ for a reference that is comparable or contrasts in some way
Also, q.v. is usually used in brackets after the term in question, which forms part of the sentence; c.f. is usually followed by the term, which is not part of the sentence.