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An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word (or phrase) but is pronounced identically to the long form of the word. is pronounced “Mister.” Abbreviations are commonly used to save time and space.
If you are in doubt, explain the abbreviation the first time you use it. Every reader will understand what you mean by GCSE examinations (GCSE = General Certificate of Secondary Education), or by DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), or by IQ (intelligence quotient), or by FM radio (FM = frequency modulation).
(Note that a few of these were formerly written with full stops, such as R. Indeed, in some of these cases, the abbreviated form of the name is far more familiar than the full name.
Click on a letter to see the abbreviations beginning with that letter.
Most of the words listed are only abbreviated in certain contexts, esp.
and prefer an English word like about or approximately: Do not write "..ca. This is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase et cetera `and other things', and it is pronounced ET SETRA, and not *EK SETRA. Again, if you avoid Latin abbreviations, you won't fall into such traps. Observe that it is usual to write Latin abbreviations in italics, but this is not strictly essential, and many people don't bother.
Finally, there are two further (and highly objectionable) Latin abbreviations ibid. There has recently been a fashion in some circles for writing Latin abbreviations without full stops, and you may come across things like ie and eg in your reading.
If neither birth date nor death date is known for sure, then each is preceded by ca. It should never be used in careful writing: it is vague and sloppy and, when applied to people, rather offensive.
Outside of parentheses, you should usually avoid the use of ca. Do not write something like this: If you do find yourself using etc., for heaven's sake spell it and punctuate it correctly. Such monstrosities make your writing look hopelessly illiterate.
and Feb.), others are not (such as cm, min, NY, and mph). In fact, abbreviation itself is commonly abbreviated as abbrev.
In this guide we will show you the proper way to use abbreviations and share rules which you can use to abbreviate words on your own.