"so on so forth" vs. "so forth"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by flute, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. flute Senior Member

    English / USA
    Are these two the same in meaning?

    1. A system with n states needs n+1 variables to form one equation, n+2 varibales to form two equations, and so on so forth.

    2. A system with n states needs n+1 variables to form one equation, n+2 varibales to form two equations, and so forth.

    Is one preferred over the other in academic writing?

    Flute
     
  2. Tabitha

    Tabitha New Member

    Sydney
    Australia English
    Hi

    ... and so on is a slightly less formal way of saying ... and so forth. They have exactly the same meaning. I don't know which would be preferred in academic writing - perhaps and so forth. I have never heard and so on so forth.
     
  3. mrbilal87

    mrbilal87 Senior Member

    English (NAmE)
    Hi flute,

    To me both are the same in meaning, but I would use either "so on" or "so forth" in academic writing. I wouldn't write them together (so on so forth), as that seems more colloquial. "So on" and "so forth" can stand separately having the same meaning.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Orange Blossom Senior Member

    U.S.A. English
    One slight comment. The way I've heard this phrase, there is an 'and' between 'on' and 'so'. and so on and so forth.

    Orange Blossom
     
  5. flute Senior Member

    English / USA
    Appreciate both of your comments. I think I will stick with "so forth" in this case.

    :D
     
  6. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    Why not "etc.", which means "and so forth"?

    1. A system with n states needs n+1 variables to form one equation, n+2 varibales to form two equations, etc.
     
  7. flute Senior Member

    English / USA
    As far as I know, the use of etc. is not encouraged in academic writing, but I could be wrong.
     
  8. mrbilal87

    mrbilal87 Senior Member

    English (NAmE)
    Hi,

    I've heard that as well, but I've never been scolded at over it when I was in university.

    Good to know though.

    Cheers!
     
  9. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    You may be right, although I don't understand why. :)

    Gaer
     
  10. Suzika New Member

    USA, English
    Hello;

    I submit that 'etcetera,' which means 'and others, especially of the same kind,' if spelled out rather than abbreviated, is perfectly acceptable in formal and scientific writing. Abbreviations, IMHO, should be kept to an absolute minimum, and be confined to the particular nomenclature of the subject.

    "And so forth," or, "and so on," to me, connote a more casual attitude, and, are not as fun to read. (I'm remembering Yul Bryner as the King of Siam, arrogantly singing: "...et-cet-era, et-cet-era, et-cet-era!"

    One last plea for "etcetera:" In the dry reading/writing of professional works, I say treat the readers to great words whenever possible. :)

    New kid on the block thanks you for this extraordinary forum.
     

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