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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?

marked as duplicate by user1579, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, JSBձոգչ, kiamlaluno, RegDwigнt Apr 12 '11 at 17:08

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  • 1
    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

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.

  • 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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