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Imagine you're abbreviating a title that has a kn-word in it (e.g. Should Know).
What is the preferred way? Is it SK or SN?

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5  
The Gnostic Knights of Pneumatic Knowledge, aka the NNNN. –  Matthew Frederick Jun 15 '11 at 4:52
4  
In chess notation, "Knight" is abbreviated "N", but that is only because "King" is abbreviated "K". –  Daniel Jul 16 '11 at 19:13

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Abbreviations are usually based on the first letters of the words they represent, and I would choose "SK" in this case (additionally "SN" is a well-known abbreviation for "Serial Number" across many different industries, so it's probably a good one to avoid when possible as well).

Consider also the word "Herbs," a word for which some people don't pronounce the letter "H" -- regardless of how this word is pronounced, an abbreviation would normally include the letter "H" to represent it (using the letter "E" would be confusing).

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Kn starting a word would become K, by convention. For instance, JSYK is common shorthand for Just so you know.

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Or IDK, AFAIK, etc. quite a few of these out there. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 9 at 20:48

AFAIK, know is often abbreviated to K.

More generally, both phonetic and spelling-based abbreviations exist.

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Can you give some examples of phonetic abbreviations? I can't think of any at all… –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 9 at 23:02
    
@JanusBahsJacquet N for Knight (chess) skips a silent letter while XML for Extensible Markup Language uses the name of the letter X to represent the /ks/ sound of extensible. Much rarer than just the letter being used, though. –  Jon Hanna Jun 9 at 23:16
    
Ah yes. X is a good example. That one seems to be quite common, even, initial /eks/ being represented by X rather than E. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 at 6:08

Abbreviations could be with the pronunciation of the word, for example, 'n' for 'and', and 'k' for 'okay'. Other such abbreviations can be seen here.

It really depends where you are. If you are texting, then maybe 'N', if you are putting it as a message, probably either, if you are putting it as the name of something, probably 'K'.

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