I use Prop. to abbreviate property or properties according to this website. Now I am wondering if there are common rules in English writing for abbreviating words.

  • Certainly. You look in a dictionary of abbreviations / acronyms etc to see what is generally acceptable. (The best ones rank examples according to how commonly used they are.) You only choose other alternatives if you want to confuse people. / If you are going to use a word a lot in an article, you may define a nonce abbreviation (eg synallagmatic (henceforth synal). – Edwin Ashworth Oct 10 '16 at 8:39
  • the abbreviation "prop" is - lame. Don't do it. – Fattie Oct 10 '16 at 12:16
  • In most cases, explain your abbreviation the first time it appears, then go ahead and use it for the rest of the book. – GEdgar Oct 10 '16 at 13:32

You should not abbreviate words on your own because you don't know exactly how reader can get to your point.

On gcflearnfree.org, you can have an idea how it is created. The basic rule is :

Abbreviations are usually formed using the most recognizable letters from the word or expression. This makes them easier to remember, and easy for others to read. It's almost like the letters are clues that point to the original word or expression.

But, in most cases, you should use abreviations which aleady exist by using dictionary lists like Oxford English Dictionary.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    I believe that 'how to do it' gives the wrong impression here, suggesting that it is quite acceptable to come up with new abbreviations at will. The article you link to almost certainly means 'abbreviations usually have the following form: they consist of the most recognizable letters from the word or expression.' Yes, they must have been invented at some point, but as you say, inventing your own is inadvisable (without explanation). – Edwin Ashworth Oct 10 '16 at 8:46
  • @EdwinAshworth I edited, is it better? – Yohann V. Oct 10 '16 at 11:56
  • 1
    Fine, now (but keep a look out for previous editions of questions). – Edwin Ashworth Oct 10 '16 at 13:41
  • @EdwinAshworth Will do ... but I always have a twinge when I have to say "Sorry, you are miserable at searching". – Yohann V. Oct 10 '16 at 14:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.