So I'm trying to figure out how to abbreviate "The Elder Scrolls" - which as you may or may not know, is the title for a popular game series.

Now, would this be abbreviated as "ES" or "TES"? When you have abbreviations such as USA for United States of America, I can see why "of" is not included in the abbreviation but since "The" is actually the start of the name of the series, is it included?

  • 3
    The precise form of an initialization is up to the person "inventing" the initialization. Generally a leading "The" is converted to "T" (as in "Star Trek TNG"), but sometime not.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 13:37
  • 4
    There is no right or wrong answer to questions like this.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 13:38
  • It might also depend if there is already another organization, element, or production that has the same initials.
    – Skooba
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 13:56
  • I'd go for just ES. Note that in a Googlefight, LOTR whups TLOTR by 50:1 for (The) Lord Of The Rings. And no-one is likely to confuse a certain type of screw lamp fitting with a game series. Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 14:53
  • @FumbleFingers - It should be noted that in casual speech "The" is often dropped from *Lord of the Rings", but not so much from "Next Generation". But likely in part it depends on the length of the initialism -- a shorter one "benefits" from the added "T" (a 2-letter initialism lacks "substance") while a longer one is just made more tedious.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


The flip answer would be that the Times Educational Supplement already has the "TES" TLA (three letter acronym) taken.

More seriously, could you envisage saying or writing something like "I want to talk about the The Elder Scrolls series"? If yes then definitely use TES. If not then perhaps avoid it.

On the other hand it is much easier to say/write "I want to write about the TES series" than "I want to write about the The Elder Scrolls series".

Note that there is a British TV series called "The Only Way Is Essex" which is universally abbreviated as "TOWIE", so there is a precedent for this kind of abbreviation.

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