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Abbreviations

Abbreviations

Abbreviation is a Latin word and means "Short."  It is used to shorten the word or even a phrase.

Some of the abbreviations consist of only initial letters and some of the only parts of words. Using them, has a long history, beginning from Ancient Greece and Rome. They were used to save time or space on the paper and even for some secrecy.

Nowadays, in modern philological history, abbreviations are quite widely used. Often, they are made by cutting off the last part of the word.

Abbreviations are often confused with crasis, acronyms, initialisms, or contractions. But in reality, they differ. An abbreviation is a process of shortening a word by any method. Contraction is drawing together the parts of the word in order to make it shorter (mostly first and last letters). So yes, contraction is an abbreviation, but the abbreviation is not always a contraction.

When abbreviating the word, the first letter should always be Capital, and other several followed ones should be lower letters. For example, the word Doctor – will be abbreviated as Dr. However, when abbreviating the phrases, all letters should be capitalized. For example, year-to-date will be YTD.

This is the list of abbreviations most widely used in texting:

  • OK – Okay
  • ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughing
  • LMK – Let me know
  • ILY – I love you
  • OFC – Of course
  • SMH – Somehow
  • YOLO –You only live once
  • FYI – For your information

Acronyms

Acronyms

Acronyms and Abbreviations actually differ. Both of them shorten the word, but acronym means using only a set of initial letters that actually create another word. So the main point of difference is that abbreviation is a series of letters and acronyms form another word.

Both Acronyms and Abbreviations were widely used in Journalism. Imagine old times, when the recorders were not that common in the whole world. People had to write down interviews, so they started using specially shortened words, which wouldn't be mistaken with others while shelling.

Here are several examples of Acronyms:

  • Radar – Radio detection and raging
  • Scuba – self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
  • NASA – National Aeronautics and space administration
  • Laser – means Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation
  • GIF – Graphics interchange format

Another significant difference between Acronym and Abbreviation is that Acronyms are used as words while speaking and Abbreviations are not. So, some of them are used for so long, that people don't actually remember what they stand for.

It is impossible to remember all of the shortened words as there are thousands of them. Different professions have their particular ones. However, they can be searched on the internet as there are lots of lists of them (for doctors, lawyers, economists, journalists and so on).