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

#### flute

##### Senior Member
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

• #### Tabitha

##### New Member
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.

#### mrbilal87

##### Senior Member
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!

#### Orange Blossom

##### Senior Member
and so on so forth.

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

#### flute

##### Senior Member
Appreciate both of your comments. I think I will stick with "so forth" in this case.

#### gaer

##### Senior Member
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
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.

#### flute

##### Senior Member
As far as I know, the use of etc. is not encouraged in academic writing, but I could be wrong.

#### mrbilal87

##### Senior Member
As far as I know, the use of etc. is not encouraged in academic writing, but I could be wrong.

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!

#### gaer

##### Senior Member
As far as I know, the use of etc. is not encouraged in academic writing, but I could be wrong.
You may be right, although I don't understand why.

Gaer

#### Suzika

##### New Member
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.

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