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Is it OK to drop the periods in abbreviations?

Okay, so in School I was always tought that when we want to abbreviate, we must use a full stop "." inbetween each letter, and if it's at the end of a sentence, a full stop at the end also (duh).

But, everywhere I go now, I am faced with having to put up with bad grammar, incorrectly-spelled words, and just total rubish. And I believe marketing is to blame! Think about it... When was the last time you saw a major company with a nice looking logo like AVC use dots inbetween each letter?

It's become so widely accepted that everybody does it now - all the time. Now I'm getting confused because all I've seen for a long time is just total rubbish, and now I don't remember which way is correct or not.

Say for example the following letters stand for "Another" "Silly" "Word", which version of abbreviation is correct?


Or are they all correct?

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marked as duplicate by Rhodri, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, JSBձոգչ, kiamlaluno, RegDwigнt Apr 12 '11 at 17:08

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I have never seen the final period (full stop) eliminated from an abbreviation... is that common? –  snumpy Apr 12 '11 at 13:53
I think you should only use a final period in an abbreviation when it's the end of a sentence or when there are no words before or after the abbreviation. –  βӔḺṪẶⱫŌŔ Apr 12 '11 at 17:03
Thanks for the link @RegDwight –  βӔḺṪẶⱫŌŔ Apr 12 '11 at 17:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

From Michael Swan's Practical English Usage:

We ususally write abbreviations without full stops in modern British English. Full stops are normal in American English.

Collins Cobuild English Dictionary:

PS: also P.S.

I guess A.S.W. and ASW are correct uses then.

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Thanks, @masarah. It was driving me insane. I think I'll keep using dots, I think it looks weird without them. –  βӔḺṪẶⱫŌŔ Apr 12 '11 at 17:05

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