Abbreviations, what are they, and how do we use them?
- write abbreviations with capital letters
- write full stops
- to use apostrophes
Words that are formed from initial letters of other words and pronounced as they are spelled. A few examples:
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation
Subscriber Identification Module
Note: Most acronyms can be written as capital letters or with an initial capital letter at the beginning of the word.
Some are well-established within society, so much so that they've become 'normal' words.
Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
Radio detection and ranging
Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation
Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
A contraction is an abbreviation with letters removed from the middle of the word.
- Dr - Doctor
- St - Saint
- Ltd - Limited
- Revd - Reverend
- I'll - I will/I shall
- We've - We have
- Shouldn't - Should not
Initialisms are abbreviations consisting of initials (first letters) of words pronounced as separate letters when spoken.
- BBC - British Broadcasting Association
- MP - Member of Parliament
- UN - United Nations
- UK - United Kingdom
- CD - Compact Disc
Apostrophes aren't required when forming the plural of an initialism. Examples:
CDs - I bought some CDs last week.
MPs - MPs took a vote against the bill last night.
A shortening is an abbreviation where the end or beginning of a word has been dropped.
- Cello - violincello
- Flu - Influenza
- Ad - Advertisement
- Blog - Weblog
- Telly - Television
- Bike - Bicycle
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