A … is for abbreviation

A[1] is for abbreviation, among other things. This is an area that is still misunderstood by some novice writers. In keeping with the theme of my blog, I’ll be using words associated with writing as I make my way through the alphabet. Now where was I? Oh yes, abbreviations.

A simple method for remembering the proper usage is to keep in mind, that the reader may not know the abbreviation; so use the full word first, followed by the abbreviation. You can then use the abbreviation throughout the remainder of your piece of writing.

For example: The hero in my book, ‘Beyond The Law’, is depicted at the beginning of the story as a member of the Special Air Service (SAS). That’s simple enough.

Where would we leave out an abbreviation? This would be the case, where it is no longer necessary, because of the accepted use of a shortened version of a word.

An example of this would be telephone, which up until recent times would have been abbreviated with an apostrophe, i.e. ‘phone; but now it is simply written as phone. Another one is the shortened version of aeroplane; ‘plane, which is now recognised as plane.

How about plurals that do not require an apostrophe?

CDs, MPs, DVDs, and so on.

This was just a glimpse at one area of writing, but there are many more to come. Now, on how many occasions did I fail to italicise all the words beginning with a? The first correct answer gets a name check on my next post.

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow with B, for … bye.

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