inter alia - among other things; among others; among them?

apoziopeza

Senior Member
slovak
Hi,

I have found that inter alia is frequently replaced withs 1. among other things or 2. among others, now I have found that somebody replaced it with 3. among them.

Are all these three uses correct?

Thanks,

A.

The International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications was founded in 1983 in the framework of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners at the initiative of the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection in order to improve privacy and data protection in telecommunications and media (the "Working Group"). Since 1983, the Working Group has adopted numerous recommendations, among others the recent Working Paper on Cloud Computing – Privacy and Data Protection Issues (the "Working Paper")
 
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Over the last half century or so, there has been a general tendency to abandon the practice of garnishing one's literary efforts with a sprinkling of Latin phrases. Few people now learn Latin at English schools, and the only survivors are likely to be the few words, phrases et cetera that have gained de facto acceptance as bona fide members of the English language. I suspect that "inter alia" may be about to go the way of the dinosaurs. It will have to be replaced by whatever ad hoc English expression seems appropriate at any given time.
     

    apoziopeza

    Senior Member
    slovak
    thanks for reply but
    are the terms "among others" and "among them" correct?
    (I am sure "among other things is correct but I would like to double check first two expressions)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    No, "among them" isn't correct. Inter alia is, as Doc says, a Latin phrase. It means "among others", so that (and not "among them") is the English equivalent.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Inter alia means "among other things". If it is used, it should not be used to refer to people.

    Added:
    By the way, I don't see "among them" in your example, though it seems to be what you are asking about:
    now I have found that somebody replaced it with 3. among them.
     
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    apoziopeza

    Senior Member
    slovak
    Cagey,

    sorry for incorrect question, I wanted to ask whether one of the options, i.e. "among them" fits here - I understand that among other things , as well as among others fits here. Was just surprised that to find out that somebody (not from the forum but native speaker) has suggested to me "among them"

    The International Working Group on Data Protection in Telecommunications was founded in 1983 in the framework of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners at the initiative of the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection in order to improve privacy and data protection in telecommunications and media (the "Working Group"). Since 1983, the Working Group has adopted numerous recommendations, among them the recent Working Paper on Cloud Computing – Privacy and Data Protection Issues (the "Working Paper")
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I actually like 'among them' better here.

    While I agree with Parla about the meaning and use of inter alia, we seem to have different opinions about the best choice to make when you substitute English words. I think that if you are using English words, you should pick the words that make good sense and not worry too much about translating the Latin phrase.

    So now you have at least two opinions to choose between. :)
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Including" or "one of which is" would dispel the need for any argument. "Among them" sounds all right to me. "Among others" isn't bad. "Among other things" sounds ever so slightly clumsy to me, but perhaps that's just me.
    I wouldn't be surprised to see "inter alia" in an academic paper. (You often see e.g. "Smith et al" - Smith and others - in a reference to a publication written by Smith and a group of colleagues.) But I don't think "inter alia" fits in a text on computing. Again, perhaps that's just me.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    For what it is worth, I have always translated inter alia as "amongst which." (see Doc Penfro's post #2)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    For what it is worth, I have always translated inter alia as "amongst which." (see Doc Penfro's post #2)
    But Doc Penfro didn't mention amongst which. I did study Latin to O level, and could not possibly translate inter alia as amongst which - that would (I think) be inter quod, and a completely different meaning. Similarly, if the original text uses inter alia and the best translation is among them, then the original author should have avoided using a Latin phrase that he did not understand.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    But Doc Penfro didn't mention amongst which.
    Not directly, but I never intended to imply that. I am referring to Doc Penfro's post as a whole and, in particular,
    It will have to be replaced by whatever ad hoc English expression seems appropriate at any given time.
    I cannot see a difference between amongst them and amongst which or the more literal translation amongst other things.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I cannot see a difference between amongst them and amongst which or the more literal translation amongst other things.
    If something is amongst them or amongst which, them or which must already have been defined. If something is amongst other things those things have not previously been defined.
    Black Rod wears all sorts of funny clothes, amongst them, black tights.
    Black Rod wears, amongst other things, black tights (inter alia)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In the example, the things have been previously described:
    Cagey, Since 1983, the Working Group has adopted numerous recommendations, among them the recent Working Paper on Cloud Computing – Privacy and Data Protection Issues (the "Working Paper")
    I actually like 'among them' better here.

    While I agree with Parla about the meaning and use of inter alia, we seem to have different opinions about the best choice to make when you substitute English words. I think that if you are using English words, you should pick the words that make good sense and not worry too much about translating the Latin phrase.
     

    michaelbeijer

    New Member
    Dutch (NL) and English (US+UK)
    GARNER'S DICTIONARY OF LEGAL USAGE:

    inter alia; inter alios; inter alias
    The best course, undoubtedly, is to use among others, a phrase that can refer to people or things [not sure I agree with Garner here!]. The Latin is not so simple. While inter alia (= among other things) refers to anything that is not human, inter alios (= among other persons) refers to people. The unanglicized form inter alias (a rare form in English) means “among other female persons.”
    Both inter alia and inter alios are used more in legal writing than elsewhere. Inter alia is the much more common phrase—e.g.:

    << Excessive quotation removed by moderator. >>
    An asterisk (✳) precedes words and phrases that are invariably inferior forms.
    Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage, Bryan A. Garner


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

    Michael
     
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