Abbreviations

In general, it’s better not to use abbreviations, but sometimes it is necessary in writing to avoid redundancy.

  1. Use standard abbreviation for titles immediately before and after proper names
    Before proper names After proper names
    Mr. Rafael Zabala Thomas Hines Jr.
    Dr. Margaret Simmons Anita Lor, PhD
    The Rev. John Stone Robert Simkowski, MD
    Prof. James Russo Polly Stein, DDS

    Note: Do not abbreviate a title if it isn’t used with a proper name.
    Incorrect: My history prof is an expert on race relations in South Africa.
    Correct: My history professor is an expert on race relations in South Africa.

  2. Use abbreviations only when sure the reader will understand them. Ex: CIA, FBI, IOU, NAACP
  3. Use BC, ADm a.m., p.m., No., and $ only with specific dates, times, numbers, and amounts
    40 BC (or 40 BCE) 4:00 a.m. (or AM) No. 12 (or no. 12)
    AD 44 (or 44 CE) 6:00 p.m. (or PM) $150
  4. Be sparing in using Latin abbreviations like e.g., et al, etc.
    *In formal writing, it’s best to use the appropriate English phrases
  5. Avoid inappropriate abbreviations
      Right Wrong
    Names Charles Chas.
    Measurement pound lb.
    Days Monday Mon.
    Holidays Christmas Xmas
    Months February Feb.
    Courses of study Political Science PolySci
    Divisions of written works Chapter Chap.
    States and Countries Massachusetts Mass. or MA
    Parts of business name Adams Lighting Company Adams Lighting Co.