124

It means "if you couldn't be bothered to read the preceding material because it looked too long (and possibly boring), here is a summary for you". The meaning is quite close to 'executive summary'. tl;dr is used to call out another user on the length of their post. However, in cases of more courteous exchanges and serious discussions, tl;dr can be self-...


77

People all over the Internet have asked the same thing—which, on the face of it, suggests that different forum posters (and perhaps, in some cases, the same people at different times) have used it to mean both things. For example: Does OP mean Original Post or Original Poster or both? (AnandTech, posted January 7, 2005) Does OP mean the original post or ...


73

My guess is that distro might have been inspired by shortenings like repo[sitory], algo[rithm], memo[randum] &c.


64

A string of letters doesn’t have to be in a dictionary to be a word, but, as it happens, there is an entry for legit in the Oxford English Dictionary, where it is given as both an adjective and a noun and defined as being a colloquial abbreviation of legitimate. The earliest citation is from 1897. Whether and how you use it is up to you.


61

I use an apostrophe to indicate the place where letters have been omitted. What'll I do (' = wi/sha) I'd say (' = woul/shoul/coul) How ya doin' (' = g) Ya is an alternative form of 'you' (- regional or colloq. = you pron.(OED)) Since there are no letters missing in 'ya' there is no apostrophe.


57

Due to the Latin influence, "-o" is a much more natural-sounding ending for a singular noun in English than "-i". My best guess is that this subconsciously affected the coinage.


56

X is commonly used to refer to cross because of its shape of two lines crossing. Trans- means cross/across. Trans- and cross- are interchangeable in many cases. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): In abbreviations, it can represent trans- (e.g. XMIT for 'transmit', XFER for 'transfer'), cross- (e.g. X-ing for 'crossing', XREF for 'cross-reference'), Christ- as ...


52

PhD (or Ph. D.) is a bit of a frozen expression or idiom. The expression doesn't abbreviate the English phrase "Doctor of Philosophy". If it did, then it would be something like "DP" or "DoP". Instead, PhD retains the structure of the medieval Latin Philosophiae Doctor, which dates from the 17th century. As to why the Latin abbreviation for "Philosophiae" ...


50

It's slang for (and an abbreviation of) Original Gangster. someone who has been around, old school gangster Urban Dictionary Commonly used to refer to someone who is not a gangster, but is considered highly skilled in a particular area.


47

In the past, the abbreviation cf was used in texts. It's short for Latin confer, meaning 'compare'. You could still use it, but not everyone will understand it. Probably the best answer now is simply See.


47

Abbreviations and contractions of words follow many conventions, take for example the word continued I have seen it abbreviated/shortened/contracted or clipped in three ways. cont cont. cont'd Mathematics can be similarly contracted math math. (math's) maths Perhaps, originally, the written form with the apostrophe, math's, was more common in Great ...


46

This is used primarily for job postings from countries which use languages with different words for the masculine and feminine job titles (like English actor/actress, sculptor/scupltress, dominator/dominatrix, etc). Appending "m/f" or similar is a concise way to indicate that applicants of any gender are welcome. It may be a legal requirement in some of ...


42

It certainly wouldn't have been impossible for some alternate history version of English to have ended up with those abbreviations. However, we need to consider the things that lead to abbreviations happening at all. The need for them has to be relatively common and they have to actually shorten significantly. If neither of those is true, nobody will bother ...


37

I have seen million, billion, and trillion abbreviated as M, B, and T respectively. However, I would not bet that that is a standard abbreviation. $3.1M settlement in Daniel McCormack priest sex abuse case for Chicago Archdiocese Lawyers: $9M settlement for boy's cerebral palsy - Washington Times JPMorgan reaches record $13B settlement with DOJ Big ...


37

It's not scientific, but the Google Ngram of "a URL" (blue line) versus "an URL" (red line) for the period 1990–2008 suggests that the published works contained in the Google Books database favor the initialism pronunciation over the acronym pronunciation by a substantial margin: By way of contrast, consider the Ngram chart for "a ...


34

In 2010, linguist Neal Whitman wrote it's the Prime Time for "Imma" commenting on its use in pop lyrics. In fact, this Imma (also spelled I'ma, I'mma, Ima, and I'm a) is not the contraction I'm followed by a, but a contraction of I'm gonna — which, of course, is a contraction of I'm going to, which is itself a contraction of I am going to. The ...


33

Probably the best way of shortening Look at is to use see. See ELU Stack See is idiomatic; look at is not generally used to direct people's attention to other resources in this way. Look at is used in speech ("Look at that!"), and it's interesting that see usually appears in writing. [Note too that e.g. does not mean "example given"; it means exempli ...


33

The etymology of "versus" is pretty simple. It came from Latin and it was originally used in English in the law sense (as it's still used today: Roe v. Wade). Later on it started to be used more flexibly. There are several abbreviations that have been used for versus: v., vs., and ver. Both vs. and v. (with and without the period) are mentioned in Oxford ...


32

I worked in banking for 27 years (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Bank of America), and my experience in financial services was that M and MM were consistently used for thousands and millions, respectively. This practice was across the board - exam reports, internal reporting, and so on. They never used K for thousands. It would be bad form to mix K ...


31

The OE has an extensive entry on the -o suffix ($) which I excerpt here: The shortening of a word immediately after a medial o , and in particular where this occurs at the end of a prefix or combining form, first appears in the late 17th cent. and early 18th centuries, e.g. plenipo n., memo n., and hypo n.1 This probably established an association ...


28

Is legit an actual word, or is it a slang word that has been shortened from legitimate? Any "or" question can be broken down into two questions, so let's do that. Is legit an actual word? There are two common definitions for "actual"; it can mean "existing" or it can mean "genuine". So let's break that down into two ...


27

The pronunciation of "distribution" is: dis·tri·bu·tion — [dis-truh-byoo-shuhn] — /ˌdɪstrəˈbyuʃən/ "-stri" would typically be pronounced similar to the beginning of "street" or "stripe". "-stro", on the other hand, would be pronounced similar to the beginning of "strobe" which isn't exactly the same but close enough in American English that ...


26

What you have shown are common abbreviations: whether they are standard abbreviations depends on what you mean by standard. Officially, in this context, standard refers to abbreviations that have been officially set out by a national or international body. I suspect you are wrong in stating that hrs is 'standard' for hours, while min is standard for minute(...


25

From the U.S. Library of Congress: Illegible or unclear text: Illegible text is anything you can’t read because a page is damaged, text is heavily crossed out or because you can’t tell what the author has written. If there is a word or a string of words you cannot read use a pair of square brackets around a question mark [?]. Example: "I ...


24

The shorthand w/ is used to mean with. 2 pieces toast w/ gravy Is a shorter way of writing "Two pieces of toast with gravy." The B strings tuned w/ low E 7th fret harmonic-(6th string,7th fret). means "The B strings tuned with low E, 7th fret harmonic . . ." Edited to add: As Denis de Bernardy correctly notes in the comment below, w/o means the ...


24

'Trans' is a prefix meaning 'cross', as in 'Trans-siberian Express' or 'Trans-continental railway'. X is used as an abbreviation of 'cross', thanks to its resemblance to a cross, and despite the shift in meanings of 'cross'. So XLATE or XLAT is used as an abbreviate of 'translate'. XFER is similarly used as an abbreviation of transfer.


23

I will reiterate what Bjarne Stroustrup has to say: "char" is usually pronounced "tchar", not "kar". This may seem illogical because "character" is pronounced "ka-rak-ter", but nobody ever accused English pronunciation (not "pronounciation" :-) and spelling of being logical. http://www.stroustrup.com/bs_faq2.html#char


23

Josh61 is 100% right, however, I would like to point out that even today, in formal circumstances especially, it's still custom and valid to address a wife as Mrs. [Husband Name]. My wife goes by: Heather Cotey - 70% of the time (the default) Mrs. Heather Cotey - In communication that relates to just her but is slightly formal Mrs. Robert D. Cotey II - In ...


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