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

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81
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4answers
138k 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..
71
votes
5answers
10k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
68
votes
11answers
10k views

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

Why is distro, rather than distri, short for distribution in Linux world?
63
votes
12answers
33k 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?
52
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
50
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
49
votes
5answers
6k 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?
34
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
204k 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)?
29
votes
5answers
6k views

Is “legit” a legitimate word?

Is legit an actual word, or is it a slang word that has been shortened from legitimate?
29
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
27
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
26
votes
2answers
78k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
94k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
2k 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)?
20
votes
3answers
814 views

“e.g.” versus “i.e.”

What are the differences between these two abbreviations? What are the appropriate situations to use each?
20
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Is IOU an abbreviation, an acronym, or an initialism?

IOU stands for I owe you and we pronounce each letter separately. But how do we classify that construction"? abbreviation: a shortened form of a word or phrase acronym: an abbreviation formed from ...
19
votes
3answers
5k 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
3answers
93k 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?
19
votes
5answers
60k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
46k 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?
17
votes
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?
17
votes
3answers
35k 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… ...
16
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
7k views

What does “O.G.” stand for?

Currently reading "Slang for the ages. It's swag. bae," by Kory Stamper from International New York Times (October 6, 2014), I came across this acronym O.G. "It[swag]'s generally taken to be a ...
16
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
26k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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
15
votes
2answers
12k 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?
15
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3answers
6k 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
votes
4answers
61k 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.
14
votes
3answers
6k 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
votes
5answers
11k views

the USA vs the US

I am writing an essay where I need to make a reference to the United States of America. Often I hear this shortened to the US, but sometimes people also say the USA. Are there any difference between ...
13
votes
4answers
158k views

What does 'Ibid' mean in reference/footnotes?

Every so often I read a book with footnotes, and I've seen them use Ibid. followed by page numbers - but I have no idea what this term means. At first I thought it was a reference to a classical ...
13
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
604 views

Is there a name for the abbreviated syntax used in signs?

For instance, a train sign might say South bound trains this platform rather than Use this platform to take a Southbound train. There is an interesting lack of articles and sometimes verbs, is there ...
13
votes
2answers
586 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
votes
2answers
22k 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.
13
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
5k 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
6answers
14k views

What is the opposite of “abbreviation”?

What is the opposite of "abbreviation"? For example, if ELL is an abbreviation for English Language Learners, then English Language Learners is a(n) _______ for ELL. I'm looking for a word that will ...
12
votes
3answers
5k 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.
12
votes
3answers
71k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
163k views

Usage of “p.” versus “pp.” versus “pg.” to denote page numbers and page ranges

At the risk of saying something foolish, I won't attempt to answer the question myself. I understand that all three synchronically more or less equivalent and substitutable, but it would be quite nice ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Short alternatives of the word Authentication and the word Authorisation [closed]

As a programmer I use the word Authentication and the word Authorisation in my code. I'd like to find nice abbreviations or alternative words for each of them that are not ambiguous and has ...
12
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
126k views

what is the correct abbreviation for millions, billions and trillions in a financial context?

I've found answers on the web but also got conflicting answers from financial professionals (coworkers). In metric, you'd use M (mega) for million, G (giga) for billion and T (tera) for trillion. ...