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bug#39778: [PATCH] checkdoc: Don't mistake "cf." for sentence end

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: bug#39778: [PATCH] checkdoc: Don't mistake "cf." for sentence end
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2020 22:00:29 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

Bastien <address@hidden> writes:

> Drew Adams <address@hidden> writes:
>>> Is "cf." really so much less common?
>> I think it is, but I won't try to support that as a fact.

While looking into this, I found Writing for Computer Science by
(2004) by Justin Zobel.

    "It is often tempting to use abbreviations such as 'no.', 'i.e.',
    'e.g.' 'c.f.' and 'w.r.t.'  These save little space on the page,
    but slow readers down.  It is almost always desirable to expand
    these abbreviations, to 'number', 'that is', 'for example',
    'compared with' (or more accurately 'in contrast to', since that
    is the sense in which 'c.f.' should be used), and 'with respect
    to', or synonyms of these expressions.  Where such abbreviations
    are used, the punctuation should be as if the expanded form were
    used.  Also consider expanding abbreviations such as 'Fig.' and
    'Alg.' and don't use concoctions such as '1st' or '2nd'.  Months
    should not be abbreviated.  Make sure that all abbreviations and
    acronyms are explained when they are first used."  (page 57)

I think the above points should be carefully considered.

> FWIW I think "cf." is pretty common.  It also has the advantage
> of being understood by non-english speaker.

That's not the case when it comes to speakers of Swedish.  I don't
know this for a fact, but I'd assume that this abbreviation is more
common in the Romance languages.

Best regards,
Stefan Kangas

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