An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word, or phrase.

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64
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Why is “distro”, rather than “distri”, short for “distribution” in Linux world?

Why is distro, rather than distri, short for distribution in Linux world?
62
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4answers
75k views

When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it?

Example: It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc. VS. It's all about apples, oranges, bananas, etc..
55
votes
11answers
21k views

Is “I'd've” proper use of the English language?

While reading a book, I came across the word I'd've, as in: I'd've argued against it. While it was obvious what it meant, it left me puzzled. Is I'd've a proper word?
47
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is “pound” (of weight) abbreviated “lb”?

Answers to Correct usage of lbs. as in "pounds" of weight suggest that "lb" is for "libra" (Latin), but how has this apparent inconsistency between the specific unit of weight "pound" and ...
46
votes
5answers
4k views

Where did “cc” and “bcc” come from?

I've just realised that CC is "carbon-copy" and BCC is "blind-carbon-copy". Basically I'm wondering, where did these terms come from?
45
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1answer
2k views

What does “c'tee” mean?

I have been seeing the word c'tee frequently. Here are some examples: Sports minister sets up c’tee to find solution to football crisis ...
30
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4answers
2k views

“Maths” for “Mathematics”; where does the S come from?

So in US English we shorten mathematics to math, and in the UK they say maths. Where does the 'S' come from in the UK version? For some reason I had it in my head that this was just because it's ...
28
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5answers
4k views

Is “legit” a legitimate word?

Is legit an actual word, or is it a slang word that has been shortened from legitimate?
28
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5answers
13k views

What does “P.U.” (in reference to stinkiness) stand for?

"What does {holding nose} P.U. mean?" my son asked me tonight. I told him I didn't know, and he laughed and said "It means stinky, Mommy!" Very funny and well said, but it left me wondering. A ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

What are these symbols called in the English language?

You see these all the time in movies, usually when some poor guy has been wrongly imprisoned and begins counting the days since his incarceration, but what are these markings called? I used to know, ...
25
votes
5answers
120k views

Should I write “PhD” or “Ph.D.”?

Question pretty self-explanatory. Should the abbreviation of the Latin term philosophiae doctor be written as PhD (no periods) or Ph.D. (with periods)?
21
votes
3answers
11k views

When a sentence starts with “e.g.”, should the e be capitalized?

When a sentence starts with e.g., should the e be capitalized? Neverminding that it might be better to start with "For example," ... Thinking of SE posts and comments, should the starting e be ...
20
votes
3answers
658 views

“e.g.” versus “i.e.”

What are the differences between these two abbreviations? What are the appropriate situations to use each?
20
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2answers
48k views

How should I abbreviate “versus”?

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 ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why “e.g.” and not “f.e.”? Why “i.e.” and not “t.i.”?

As a non-native English speaker without a classical education, it took me quite some time to appreciate the "e.g." and "i.e." abbreviations. What is wrong with "f.e." ("for example") and "t.i." ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “iff” considered a real word or just an abbreviation?

I wonder if "iff" is considered a real word (as LEO says) or is it just an abbreviation (as in Wiktionary)?
18
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6answers
48k views

What does “pax” mean in the context of the apartment rental?

I'm looking at apartment ads in Singapore, but I don't understand what pax means. Here's an example: View 8pm today @ Hdb Approved HDB 1+1 Blk 3 Jalan Kukoh (Chin Swee Rd): 15 min walk ...
18
votes
5answers
9k views

Punctuation around abbreviations

I always stumble when using abbreviations in a sentence, as they inherently contain a period in them. How do I use a comma or a semicolon after an abbreviation? How about a period? E.g. (This is an ...
17
votes
4answers
26k views

“Versus” versus “vs.” in writing

In writing, when should one use the abbreviation vs. as opposed to the full versus? This abbreviation seems to have special status from common usage. What is the origin of that, and in what writing ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Why 'Mrs.' isn't read as 'mistress'?

Wasn't Mrs. short for mistress? Why do we read Mrs. as missus(or sometimes missis) instead of mistress?
16
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8answers
6k views

Is it correct that “etc.” can not be used together in a sentence with “for example” and “such as”?

I just read an article from a Chinese website for English teaching which mentions that point. For instance, one can't say: "I can play quite a few musical instruments, for example, the flute, the ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Why do some words have “X” as a substitute?

Why do people sometimes substitute x for letters in a word? Examples: Xing Xmas Xfr
14
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3answers
4k views

“open mike” vs. “open mic”

I run comedy shows, and at these comedy shows there is always an "open mike" section. Frequently I get people saying to me, shouldn't it be "open mic", because "mic" should be the shortened version ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Why is there a slash within “n/a”

not available is not not/available, and not applicable is not not/applicable. Why is it n/a?
14
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4answers
10k views

Punctuation after “P.S.”

Somewhere in the craggy quagmire of my memory, I seem to recall that the nuns of my grade school days taught me that a P.S. (post script) is followed by a colon, i.e. P.S.: Alas, the periods after ...
13
votes
2answers
467 views

Is there an American term for a group of elitist schools, similar to the abbreviation “Oxbridge”?

I saw the word, ‘Oxbridge’, a portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge, in a comment to a question asking for a better word for ‘invigilator’: Whereas the situation is reversed in the UK, and one in a ...
13
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3answers
47k views

Difference between an acronym and abbreviation?

TLA is an acronym for "Three Letter Acronym". Is it also an abbreviation, since it abbreviates the original phrase?
13
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1answer
1k views

How to deal with abbreviations at the end of a question?

In a sentence like Should we host them on imgur et cetera? where I want to abbreviate the "et cetera", what is the correct punctuation? Using a period after the "etc." like mid sentence usages ...
13
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1answer
17k views

Abbreviation “n.d.” in citation?

I’ve just come across “n.d.” used as an abbreviation, as a bibliographic reference in an academic essay, along the lines of: Smith (n.d.) discusses the subaquaeous pliability of rattan fibres… ...
12
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5answers
4k views

How to shorten “look at”? [closed]

I need to find a shortened format (abbreviation) for the words "look at" (to be used when referring people to another website). For example: Example given → e.g
12
votes
4answers
36k views

How do you use “i.e.” in a sentence?

How does one properly use i.e. in a sentence? I'm not referring to Internet Explorer.
12
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7answers
7k views

How do I spell the truncation 'Cas', as in 'Sports Casual/Sports Cas'?

How do I spell the truncation 'Cas', as in 'Sports Casual/Sports Cas'? It may be UK only, and may have been spawned by Alan Partridge. Cash/Cas are not right. *As in a slang term, "he was acting all ...
12
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2answers
5k views

Why is the word 'number' abbreviated to 'No.' in UK English and '#' in American English?

Why the disparity? And why use 'No.'? Is it from the French? And the hash or pound sign seems a weird choice too, is there a history or any reason involved?
11
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2answers
11k views

Differences between e.g., viz. and i.e.

What are the differences between viz. and eg. and in which situations each is used? Please also compare the usage with i.e. if appropriate. Edit: In response to a comment below: I'm asking this as I ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Does the abbreviation for Saint in a church name require a period?

In referring to a local church, does the name "St Giles" require a period after the "St"? I was told that to add a period confuses it with the abbreviation for street.
11
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4answers
456 views

How is “cf.” to be pronounced?

The meaning of cf. has already been addressed in this question, but not the right way to pronounce or translate it when reading aloud as has been done for i.e. and e.g. in this question. Can anyone ...
11
votes
3answers
45k views

What is the correct abbreviation for the word “numbers”?

What is the correct abbreviation for the words numbers and number? Nos. No. Nos No Possible example usage: "Number of guests" where the word number is abbreviated "Numbers 10–15 are located in ...
11
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2answers
15k views

What's the difference between “e.g.” and “ex.”?

I know they both roughly mean "example", but which one should I use, and when?
11
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5answers
1k views

How do you write an ellipsis following an abbreviation?

Consider the following sentence (off of the top of my head just to illustrate an example): I hate the N.C.A.A....but I understand that it's a necessary evil. When following an abbreviation with ...
11
votes
2answers
237 views

Is the term “KTV” in use in any English-speaking country?

While travelling recently for two months in mainland China I noticed many buildings with the English letters KTV in their signage. At first I thought this was something to do with company names or ...
10
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4answers
3k views

How to abbreviate “and other things”?

Which short phrase or abbreviation could I use here to mean and other things? The medulla oblongata controls respiration and cardiovascular rhythm ____. Etc. would not fit as it carries the ...
10
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4answers
2k views

What's exactly I'mma? I'mma go now, I'mma open that for you

When I chat I hear sometimes "I'mma ..." like in: "I'mma go now" or "I'mma open that for you" I am not sure how it's written, I have never got a precise answer when I asked. Should I learn to ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Origin of the phrase “for the win”?

Just curious as to where "for the win" (commonly abbreviated FTW) originated?
10
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4answers
3k views

“I'm right, aren't I?”

My dictionary reports that aren't is also an abbreviation for am not, when used in questions. Is this use of aren't common? If it is common, are there any differences between the different English ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “sq” mean when referencing page or verse numbers? [closed]

In the book I am reading (Patrick Fairbairn, The Interpretation of Prophecy, 2nd ed., 1865), the abbreviation "sq." is used sometimes in referencing both Scripture and other books (as "Typology of ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

How would you abbreviate surnames starting with Mc/O/D?

On my sport team, when we communicate we would like to use first name plus initial last name initial, e.g. John S. for John Smith, however I always wonder how I should abbreviate some of the Gaelic / ...
10
votes
4answers
903 views

What is the meaning and usage of the abbreviation “v. a.”?

At the time of this writing there is no explanation on wiktionary, and searching the web does not yield an answer, only more instances of its use: A random entry at the Etymological Dictionary of ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

What does the “atta” mean in “attaboy” and “attagirl”?

What does the prefix atta mean? What is it trying to abbreviate? What a? Wiktionary claims that it stands for that's a or that's the, but I do not see the resemblance to atta.
10
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3answers
1k views

Is the Latin abbreviation “f” (folio) commonly used in page ranges?

When citing from an inclusive range of two consecutive pages such as pages 25 and 26, one can write 25–26 or 25f I know this is a question of style, but I am having little luck with Google ...
10
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3answers
20k views

How do you spell wifi / Wi-Fi / WiFi? [closed]

This is probably related to whether one should capitalize Internet or not. I am looking for the correct spelling of wifi when referring to a wireless connection to the Internet. I want to tell the ...