Recently, I was reading articles on the net and realised that there is a lot of ambiguity over the usage of Dr. and Dr, Er. and Er etc.

I usually prefer the dot while writing Doctor (Dr.) or Engineer (Er.) in front of someone's name.

Is it correct if we put a dot after these titles/abbreviations or not?


The Oxford Learners' Dictionary says:

Mr abbreviation (British English)
(also Mr. North American English, British English)

While the Oxford Learner's Dictionary of American English just states:

Mr. abbreviation

and has no entry for Mr without the period.

So I believe that both Mr and Mr. are acceptable in British English (even though Mr without period is preferred), while Mr. with period is mandatory in American English.

As an Italian, I prefer Mr without the period, because in school we were taught that the period following an abbreviation stood for "following letters omitted", but the r in Mr and in Dr is the last letter of Mister and Doctor, so no letter following "r" is omitted. I think that the British usage tends to conform to this "European" (Latin?) rule.

  • 5
    The rule that Henry Fowler suggests in his Modern English Usage (if memory serves; I don't have the book in front of me) is to use a period if and only if the abbreviation does not include the last letter of the full word - thus "Mr" (for MisteR) lacks a period, but "Prof." (for PROFessor) takes a period. American usage is to use periods for everything, though. – Connor Harris Feb 23 '17 at 14:17
  • Whether to use stops in or after abbreviations is a matter purely of style; not any real rules. – Robbie Goodwin Mar 7 '17 at 3:33

Both forms are acceptable. In modern British English, usually abbreviations are written without full stop marks. Full stops (US, 'periods') are normal in American English.

Dr (US, Dr.), Ltd (US, Ltd.), Kg (US, Kg.), Mr (US, Mr.), etc.

(From Micael Swan's PEU Chapter Abbreviations).

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