81 votes
Accepted

Does OP mean “original poster” or “original post”?

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 ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
58 votes
Accepted

Why is the prefix "Trans" shortened to "X"?

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 ...
Decapitated Soul's user avatar
53 votes
Accepted

Pronunciation of PhD

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,...
Mark Beadles's user avatar
  • 22.7k
41 votes

How should URL be pronounced?

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 ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
40 votes

Why are "i.e." and "e.g." written in lower case with periods, while "NB" is typically written in CAPS with no periods?

Here is what The Chicago Manual of Style has to say: NB, n.b.     nota bene, take careful note (capitals are illogical but often used for emphasis) Source: The Chicago Manual of Style (login required)...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

What is the literal meaning (and the origin) of "v"?

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 ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
25 votes

What does "Mrs" mean when used with a man's name?

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: ...
coteyr's user avatar
  • 1,979
25 votes

What is the sign, used in documentation, that means illegible--in the same fashion as [sic]?

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 ...
Richard Kayser's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Why does XLAT mean 'translate'?

'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 ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 25.8k
23 votes

Pronunciation of PhD

Because it is an initialism so you read out each letter ("DVD" is pronounced "dee-vee-dee", not "dvid"; "US" is pronounced "you-ess", not "uhs"). Your proposed pronunciation could be used were it an ...
Carly's user avatar
  • 2,797
22 votes

Meaning of S. TH

It's a different way (typically, sth is used) to abbreviate something: From A Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language, Explained in English
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
21 votes

Why is the prefix "Trans" shortened to "X"?

In addition to the other edifying answers and comments: from an information-theory viewpoint, given the rarity of initial "x" in English words, the presence of it (especially if ...
paul garrett's user avatar
19 votes

Is 'mini' a word in its own right?

Macmillan has it as a noun, synonymous with miniskirt. This also provides an example of how the adjective isn't quite a synonym for miniature - a miniature skirt would fit a small doll. Cambridge ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 21.7k
19 votes

Does OP mean “original poster” or “original post”?

I'm not really sure who is qualified to say that one use or another of this abbreviation is "correct" or "incorrect". But I have certainly used "OP" to stand for "original post" instead of "original ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.8k
16 votes

How should I abbreviate "versus"?

Preamble As well as considering the four alternatives listed in the question, I shall also discuss the tendency to italicize them (being of Latin origin), especially when ‘v’ is used. Thus, there are ...
David's user avatar
  • 12.8k
16 votes

Should I always use a comma after "e.g." or "i.e."?

I am late to the party, but among all the excellent citations given in support of using or not using a comma after i.e. and e.g., let me also mention what New Hart's Rules (2005) from Oxford ...
LWTBP's user avatar
  • 724
16 votes

What is the literal meaning (and the origin) of "v"?

There is no truth in the "vel" bit. "Vel" isn't even the way to say "or" in that sense. The desired meaning is an exclusive "or", and that in Latin was "aut".
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 5,009
16 votes

Is it CoViD? Or COVID? Covid? How should the word be spelled?

Official nomenclature and journalistic practice A recent item by Elisabeth Ribbans, "COVID or Covid? The comfort of pedantry at a time of national crisis," in The Guardian (April 19, 2020), ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
15 votes
Accepted

Why is “number” abbreviated as “No.”?

No (frequently styled №) is the abbreviation for the Latin word numero (in number). Why is it also used to abbreviate the English word number? Because Latinate abbreviations were second nature to ...
MetaEd's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

Is it colloquially acceptable to use ETA in place of "estimated time to completion"?

Yes, at least in the hi-tech and software development industry. This phrase/acronym is used for the date of task completion. See, for example, this forum question: ETA on fixing the underlying issue
DAE's user avatar
  • 1,311
12 votes

Does OP mean “original poster” or “original post”?

Either or an abstraction related to both, depending on context. To be clear, "OP" may refer to: the Original Post; or the Original Poster; or the Original Post or the Original Poster, ambiguously; ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 694
11 votes
Accepted

Term for the second letter in Sx, Dx, Rx?

It seems plausible that the medical convention of using 'x' as the second letter of an abbreviation (in, for example, Dx (diagnosis), Sx (symptom or surgery), Fx (family), Hx (history), and Tx (...
DyingIsFun's user avatar
  • 17.9k
11 votes
Accepted

Which is correct Dr. or Dr?

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 ...
Fry Simpson's user avatar
11 votes

Is it colloquially acceptable to use ETA in place of "estimated time to completion"?

Wikipedia describes this usage: ETA is also used metaphorically in situations where nothing actually moves physically, as in describing the time estimated for a certain task to complete (e.g. work ...
Kasenjo's user avatar
  • 433
11 votes

Is 'mini' a word in its own right?

Oxford considers mini a stand-alone word. ADJECTIVE Denoting a miniature version of something. ‘a mini camera’ So do Merriam-Webster and a variety of other sources.
Davo's user avatar
  • 7,214
11 votes
Accepted

Use of degree symbol for Latinate ordinal number shorthand

This is an ordinal indicator. In written languages, an ordinal indicator is a character, or group of characters, following a numeral denoting that it is an ordinal number, rather than a cardinal ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 24.4k
11 votes

What is the sign, used in documentation, that means illegible--in the same fashion as [sic]?

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, lists 3 possibilities: ellipsis points, bracketed comments or guesses (frequently with a question mark), or a 2-em dash. 13.57 Missing or illegible words. In ...
Stu W's user avatar
  • 7,126
10 votes
Accepted

Is 'mini' a word in its own right?

It really comes down to deciding on which expressions you want to consider to be words. That's why Scrabble dictionaries exist. There's no authority that can say mini or temp are not words. In fact ...
Arm the good guys in America's user avatar

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