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There are 4 types of abbreviations I know for "versus":

  • v
  • v.
  • vs
  • vs.

I generally use the last one in the list, but I want to stick to one and use only that one. Which one is more proper (or more prevalent), and why?

Extra question: Which one should be preferred in scientific papers?

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Surely vs doesn't require the full stop? Like Jas or Mrs? But not Capt. – user6668 Mar 29 '11 at 12:12
In British English, vs should not have a full stop because it ends in the final letter of "versus". In American English it should end with a period because it is abbreviated. – Charles Mar 29 '11 at 17:29
I have also seen v/s – Pupil May 6 '11 at 22:20
also possible is -v-, but nearly extinct (only in legal contexts, if then). – TimLymington Jun 30 '11 at 22:02
@Charles Your comment is interesting. Could you make an answer from it, so people can vote (even short one would be great)? – kenorb Apr 26 at 21:52
up vote 28 down vote accepted

In legal contexts, the abbreviation "v." is used. Elsewhere, the most common is "vs.". In formal contexts (e.g. scientific papers), it is probably best to have the period at the end of the abbreviation. I assume you would be using this abbreviation in graphs/charts/titles and things like that; the abbreviation would be appropriate in these places, but not within normal prose of the paper.

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So should we use v. or vs.? I mean in a scientific article. Cause I am somehow confused by your answers. – lonesome Sep 10 '15 at 14:21

I always use "vs." (I don't know if this is very useful jeje) but I quote here an answer from Yahoo Answers that might help.

Spell out the word versus unless you're reporting game scores, when you would use vs.; when you're citing legal documents, use the abbreviation v. (with the period)

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"when you're citing legal documents, use the abbreviation". When you're citing anything, put exactly what they have or else clarify that you edited it! – Josh Nov 22 '10 at 22:01
@Josh: think you misunderstand the legal usage. The citation would be something like '"Elephants are not legally treated as house pets" (Smith J, London Zoo v Jones, 1980 Supreme Court 200).' The first eight words must be quoted exactly: the remainder is conventional, showing where to find the quotation from Mr Justice Smith. But the citation is the whole thing. – TimLymington Jun 17 '11 at 15:06

protected by RegDwigнt Oct 23 '13 at 10:01

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