Citation, Documentation of Sources
Q. I’m an editor in an academic publishing house. I’ve been advised by our best-selling author to use “eadem” (fem.) in place of “idem,” where appropriate. Recently I had an instance in which I needed to use “idem” (within the same note) in reference to two male authors. The masculine plural is “eidem.” Then I realized we might potentially need the feminine plural form some day! Yikes! Do we really want to go down this road?
A. More to the point, how would authors and editors determine the gender of every author in a bibliography? “Idem” is the standard term, and to attempt further clarification invites inaccuracy and possible offense (not to mention restraining orders).