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I have found the extension "et al" with biologists from different nationalities like : Avery et al ; Taylor et al etc.

My question : 1. What does it mean? 2. Why only biologists?

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    $\begingroup$ It is just to abbreviate the names of the authors that is used in all fields of knowledge. For example, if I have to refer to this paper that has 9 authors, I will not write every name, I will just write Gilbert et al. 2017. I am not sure why you would care more about nationalities than whether they prefer chocolate over caramel. They are just authors. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 25 '17 at 3:22
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    $\begingroup$ I am voting to close because your question is off-topic here but would be on-topic on Academia.SE (although they will likely say "Just google it!"). $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 25 '17 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about biology. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Aug 25 '17 at 4:00
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The Latin phrase et alia (abbreviated et al.) means and others.

It is not limited to biologists, nor those of different nationalities. If I refer to this computer graphics article, I can refer to it as "the paper written by Henrik Jensen, et al., regarding physically based modeling of fire..."

Note that the expansion of et al. can also be et alii and et aliae, which are the masculine and feminine forms, respectively; et alia is the neuter form.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually, in Latin "al." can be the abbreviation of 3 things: alii, aliae and alia. The first is masculine, the second is feminine and the third is neuter (all of them are nominative plural). $\endgroup$ – user24284 Aug 25 '17 at 4:17
  • $\begingroup$ @GerardoFurtado - So how do we know to which "et al." is referring? And if the genders of the authors are mixed, why isn't it, et. al. et. al.? $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Aug 26 '17 at 4:37
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    $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse you don't. Since "al." is the abbreviation for alii and aliae, it covers any combination of researchers: all male, all female or mixed. Also (and this answers your second question), Latin is a very "sexist" language: a group of one thousand women is aliae, but a group of one thousand women with a single man among them is now alii. So, a mixed team is just et alii. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Aug 26 '17 at 6:28
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, Latin is so "sexist" that, even possessing neuter pronouns, if you're taking about a person of unknown gender you use the masculine pronoun. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Aug 26 '17 at 6:39
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    $\begingroup$ @GerardoFurtado - I was pilling your leg. :) I love Latin; I taught it for about six years. But there is no one - and I mean no one - I know that shares that love of Latin, so you were the victim. Please forgive me. :) $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Aug 26 '17 at 14:54

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