Why is the word “abbreviation” so damn long?
Abbreviations, simply put, are shortened forms of words or lengthy phrases. They are very useful because they save us time and space in our written communication. They are used in texting, tweeting, social media, email, and verbal communication in everyday life.
Some examples are: LOL, Laughing out loud; ASAP, As soon as possible; NC, No comment; JK, Just kidding; IDC, I don’t care; 404, I don’t know; FYI, For your information; G2G, Got to go; TTYL, talk to you later; IMHO, In my humble opinion; TBH, To be honest; TLDR, Too long, didn’t read; A3, Anytime, anywhere, anyplace; ASL, Age, sex, location; CTN, can’t talk now. You might be interested in reading our articles How to use instant messaging effectively and The Best Android apps, Some WhatsApp’s tricks.
A full stop is often used to signify an abbreviation. However, you may find that in modern British English, abbreviations are usually written without full stops. Some examples are: tittles (PA - Personal Assistant, CEO - Chief Executive Officer), social media (LOL - laugh out loud, TY - thank you), time (hr - hour, sec - second), measurement (m - meter, in - inch), direction terms (N - North, S - South), postal terms (St. - street, Apt. - apartment), marketing and sales (B2B - Business to Business, CPC - Cost Per Click), etc.
Generally speaking, it is not recommended to abbreviate in formal writing. Don’t, I mean, ― sorry, I could not avoid the pun ― do not abbreviate people’s names (Aby = Abigail, Cassie = Cassandra, Jack = Jackson, etc.), days of the week (Mon = Monday, Tue = Tuesday, Wed = Wednesday), months (Jan = January, Feb = February, Mar = March), states (Ala = Alaska, Mass = Massachusetts), unless there is a specific reason to do so.
The plurals of abbreviations (MP’s, CD’s and DVD’s, but CDs and DVDs are very common nowadays and accepted), letters (Now she is getting straight A’s; Mind your p’s and q’s) and numbers (The 1960’s was the age of the hippies, but the 1960s is more common) were usually written using apostrophes before the ’s’. It is a controversial topic. The general rule to form the plural of most abbreviations is to add an s, but not an apostrophe.
Apostrophes are used in contracted forms (I can’t swim, Who’s the boss?, It’s me), possessives (Paul’s fiancé is blonde, my parents’ friends are crazy), and special plurals (I’m tired of all his maybe’s; If “if’s” and “but’s” were candy and nuts, we would all have a merry Christmas!).
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