Abbreviation as one of the two types of shortening in modern english
The general notions of abbreviation in english. The history of abbreviations as long as phonetic script existed. The fashionable use of abbreviation - a kind of society slang. The importance of the issue for those who want to brush up on your English.
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- abbreviation english slang phonetic
- I. The general notions of abbreviation in english
- 1.1 The history of abbreviations
- 1.2 Abbreviations is the major way of shortening
- II. The appearance of new abbreviation
- The theme of my work sounds as following: "Abbreviation as the main type of shorteting in Modern English". This work can be characterized by the following. The actuality of this work caused by several important points. The abbreviation is one of the main trends in development of Modern English, especially in its colloquial layer, which, in its turn at high degree is supported by development of modern informational technologies and simplification of alive speech. So the significance of my work can be proved by the following reasons:
- a) Abbreviation is one of the most developing branches among another types of shortening lexicology nowadays.
- b) Abbreviation reflects the general trend of simplification of a language. c) Abbreviation is closely connected with the development of modern informational technologies.
Having based upon the actuality of the theme it is formulated the general goals of course paper.
-to study, analyze, and sum up the general notions of abbreviation in English;
- -to learn the history of abbreviations;
-to study abbreviations as the major way of shortening;
-to demonstrate the significance of the problem for those who want to brush up their English.
If we say about the new information used within my work I may note that the work studies the problem from the modern positions and analyzes the modern trends appeared in this subject for the last ten years. In particular, the shorten language of computer chats was taken into consideration.
The practical significance of the work can be concluded in the following items:
a) The work could serve as a good source of learning English by young teachers at schools and colleges.
- b) The lexicologists could find a lot of interesting information for themselves. c) those who would like to communicate with the English-speaking people through the Internet will find a shortened language of chats in my work.
If we say about the methods of scientific approaches used in our work we can mention that the method of typological analysis was used.
- The general structure of the course paper looks as follows: the work is composed onto three major parts: introduction, main part and conclusion. The introductory part tells about the general content of the work. The second part bears the two points in itself. The first point tells about the history of abbreviations. The second item analyses abbreviations as the major way of shortening. The third part tells about new abbreviations. The conclusion of the qualification work sums up the ideas discussed in the main part and shows the ways of implying of the course paper.
I. The general notions of abbreviation in english
An abbreviation (from Latin brevis, meaning short) is a shortened form of a word or phrase. Usually, but not always, it consists of a letter or group of letters taken from the word or phrase. For example, the word abbreviation can itself be represented by the abbreviation abbr., abbrv. or abbrev. In strict analysis, abbreviations should not be confused with contractions or acronyms (including initialisms), with which they share some semantic and phonetic functions, though all three are connoted by the term "abbreviation" in loose parlance.An abbreviation is a shortening by any method; a contraction is a reduction of size by the drawing together of the parts. A contraction of a word is made by omitting certain letters or syllables and bringing together the first and last letters or elements; an abbreviation may be made either by omitting certain portions from the interior or by cutting off a part; a contraction is an abbreviation, but an abbreviation is not necessarily a contraction. However, normally acronyms are regarded as a subgroup of abbreviations (e.g. by the Council of Science Editors). Abbreviations can also be used to give a different context to the world itself, such as (PIN Number, wherein if the abbreviation were removed the context would be invalid).
1.1 The history of abbreviations
Abbreviation has been used as long as phonetic script existed, in some senses actually being more common in early literacy, where spelling out a whole word was often avoided, initial letters commonly being used to represent words in specific application. By classical Greece and Rome, the reduction of words to single letters was still normal, but can default. An increase in literacy has, historically, sometimes spawned a trend toward abbreviation. The standardization of English in the 15th through 17th centuries included such a growth in the use of abbreviation. At first, abbreviations were sometimes represented with various suspension signs, not only periods. For example, sequences like ‹er› were replaced with ‹?›, as in ‹mast?› for master and ‹exac?bate› for exacerbate. While this may seem trivial, it was symptomatic of an attempt by people manually reproducing academic texts to reduce their copy time. An example from the Oxford University Register, 1503: Mast? subwarden? y ?mзde me to you. And wher? y wrot to you the last wyke that y trouyde itt good to differr? thelection? ov? to quоdena? tinitatis y have be thought me syn? that itt woll be then? a bowte mydsom?. In the 1830s in the United States, starting with Boston, abbreviation became a fad. For example, during the growth of philological linguistic theory in academic Britain, abbreviating became very trendy. The use of abbreviation for the names of "Father of modern etymology" J. R. R. Tolkien and his friend C. S. Lewis, and other members of the Oxford literary group known as the Inklings, are sometimes cited as symptomatic of this. Likewise, a century earlier in Boston, a fad of abbreviation started that swept the United States, with the globally popular term OK generally credited as a remnant of its influence. After World War II, the British greatly reduced their use of the full stop and other punctuation points after abbreviations in at least semi-formal writing, while the Americans more readily kept such use until more recently, and still maintain it more than Britons. The classic example, considered by their American counterparts quite curious, was the maintenance of the internal comma in a British organization of secret agents called the "Special Operations, Executive" -- "S.O.,E" -- which is not found in histories written after about 1960. But before that, many Britons were more scrupulous at maintaining the French form. In French, the period only follows an abbreviation if the last letter in the abbreviation is not the last letter of its antecedent: "M." is the abbreviation for "monsieur" while "Mme" is that for "madame". Like many other cross-channel linguistic acquisitions, many Britons readily took this up and followed this rule themselves, while the Americans took a simpler rule and applied it rigorously. Over the years, however, the lack of convention in some style guides has made it difficult to determine which two-word abbreviations should be abbreviated with periods and which should not. The U.S. media tend to use periods in two-word abbreviations like United States (U.S.), but not personal computer (PC) or television (TV). Many British publications have gradually done away with the use of periods in abbreviations completely.Minimization of punctuation in typewritten matter became economically desirable in the 1960s and 1970s for the many users of carbon-film ribbons, since a period or comma consumed the same length of non-reusable expensive ribbon as did a capital letter.Widespread use of electronic communication through mobile phones and the Internet during the 1990s allowed for a marked rise in colloquial abbreviation. This was due largely to increasing popularity of textual communication services such as instant- and text messaging. SMS for instance supports message lengths of 160 characters at most (using the GSM 03.38 character set). This brevity gave rise to an informal abbreviation scheme sometimes called Textese, with which 10% or more of the words in a typical SMS message are abbreviated. More recently Twitter, a popular social network service, began driving abbreviation use with 140 character message limits.
Very interesting history of origin ofcertain abbreviations.Here are some examples:
? for lb(pound)
The abbreviation originates with the Latin phrase libra pondo, which means "a unit of measurement by weight." The Romans shortened the phrase to pondo, which ultimately became pound in English, but the abbreviation of the first word - lb., for libra- endured. The symbol for British currency is a stylized L, or ?, which comes from the same source. The value of the British pound was originally equal to one pound of silver.
Many Christians believe that the abbreviation is intended to "take the Christ out Christmas" or because of the letter's similarity to a cross. Be that as it may, the real origin of 'Xmas' lies within the Greek language. The Greek word for 'Christ' begins with the Greek letter 'chi,' which is represented by a symbol similar to the letter 'X' in the modern Roman alphabet. Therefore, 'Xmas' is a completely allowable abbreviation that is almost as old as the Christian religion itself! Similarly a Christian could be referred to as an "Xian".
V.I.P.(Very important person)
This frequently used contraction was created during World War II by a British officer in charge of organizing flights for important military leaders. In order to conceal the names from enemy spies, each of these were referred to as a "V.I.P." in the flight plan.
Mrs(A married woman)
Originally, Mrs. was a shortened version of mistress, a word that used to mean "wife" but has since acquired a very different meaning. Strictly speaking, because the word it once abbreviated has changed its meaning, Mrs. is no longer an abbreviation - unlike Mr., its male counterpart, which can be spelled out as Mister.
K(A strikeout in baseball)
In the 1860s when a batter struck out, it was proper to say that he "struck." It was during this era that a newspaperman named Henry Chadwick created symbols for use with his new invention - the box score. He gave each play a letter: S for sacrifice, E for error, and so on. Since S was already taken, he used to last letter of "struck" instead of the first to abbreviate it: K.
Rx(A drug prescription)
Actually, there is no x in Rx. In Medieval Latin, the first word in medicinal prescription directing one to take a specific quantity of a concoction was recipe, meaning "take" or "receive." This was later symbolized as an R with a slash across its leg. The spelling Rx is an attempt to represent this symbol in English letters.
P. D. Q.(Pretty damn quick.)
This abbreviation for 'pretty damn quick' or 'pretty damned quick' is now so commonplace that it is often written without the full stops, i.e. 'PDQ'. Many abbreviations have origins that are difficult to trace. With PDQ life is a little easier. The term was first used in The Mighty Dollar, a play by Benjamin E. Woolf, first performed in 1875 at New York's Park Theatre. The play's money-hungry character Judge Bardwell Stote habitually used abbreviations like T.T.T - a 'tip-top time' and G.I.C. - 'goose is cooked'."That's right, you'd better step P.D.Q., pretty damn quick." 'Pretty damned quick' was already in use by 1875, for example, this piece from the Memoirs of Charles Mathews, Comedian, 1839: "If he showed me any of it, I'd make him clear out pretty damned quick."
Why P.D.Q. lasted and the numerous other abbreviations from Woolf's work didn't is open to debate.
In 1933 the Lifebuoy Health Soap Company ran a series of radio advertisements containing their new slogan: "Lifebuoy stops B-- O--." A heavy two-note foghorn warning was synchronized with the "B.O.," giving the phrase a negative spin it has retained ever since.
D-Day(June 6, 1944, the day Allied forces invaded France during WWII)
The D in D-Day does not stand for "designated" or "defeat," as many believe, but simply for "day." D-day actually means "day day." The redundancy comes from the common practice in army correspondence of referring to a top secret time as H-hour or D-day.
(Marking on bottles in cartoons to indicate that they contain alcohol) During the 19th century, breweries in Britain marked their bottles X, XX, or XXX as a sign of alcohol content. The number of Xs corresponded to the potency of the drink.
"OK" is an English expression, pronounced identically, and it appears in almost all the areas and in all the languages of the world, although it is difficult to say that it is actually a word or how it is originated. Whether you are in China, India, Great Britain or Italy, it is enough to say "OK" and the meaning of affirmative expressions will be clear to everyone.Until recently, both in English-speaking countries and the rest of the world, the famous acronym today can hear from the mouth of the Heads of State and Government, and also in the pages of literary history, awarded with the Nobel Prize. Incredible destiny for the word that have emerged from the wrong "spelling". In fact, the acronym first appeared in an article published back in 1839. in the list of the Boston Morning Post in which he referred to the person who says "OK", short for "all correct". Mistake was not at all unusual for that time when there were few people that knew how to read and write. However, there are other theories about the origin of the acronym "OK" and they do not all come from America. Specifically, the language of Aristotle, "Ola Kala" means "all is well", and even the Greeks had used to shorten the term of "OK". In Germany, "Ohne Korrektur", translated "without corrections", also shortened the same way. Swedes, however, use the term "Oc aye" (oh yes), which is pronounced just like "okay", and is not necessary to abbreviate it. The British public broadcaster BBC has recently devoted an entire appendix famous acronym. "This is a very unusual word that sounds like an abbreviation, an acronym. But it would make its strange appearance could be the reason for her huge popularity, ". However, the expression "OK" can now be heard and read almost anywhere. For U.S. President Barack Obama, he has become almost a byword, and British purists began to use it, like David Cameron. Those who have read "The Road" Cormac McCarthy could notice a series of dialogues between father and son who are completing with "OK".
1.2 Abbreviations is the major way of shortening
The fashionable use of abbreviation - a kind of society slang - comes and goes in waves, though it is never totally absent. In the present century, however, it has been eclipsed by the emergence of abbreviations in science, technology, and other special fields, such as cricket, baseball, drug trafficking, the armed forces, and the media. The reasons for using abbreviated forms are obvious enough. One is the desire for linguistic economy -- the same motivation which makes us want to criticize someone who uses two words where one will do. Succinctness and precision are highly valued, and abbreviations can contribute greatly to a concise style. They also help to convey a sense of social identity: to use an abbreviated form is to be 'in die know' - part of the social group to which the abbreviation belongs. Computer buffs the world over will be recognized by their fluent talk of ROM and RAM, of DOS and WYSIWYG. You are no buff if you are unable to use such forms, or need to look them up (respectively, 'read-only memory', 'random-access memory', 'disk operating system', and 'what you see is what you get'). It would only irritate computer-literate colleagues and waste time or space (and thus money) if a computer-literate person pedantically expanded every abbreviated form. And the same applies to those abbreviations which have entered everyday speech. It would be strange indeed to hear someone routinely expanding BBC(the British Broadcasting Corporation), NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organization), NASA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), AIDS(acquired immune deficiency syndrome), and all die other common abbreviations of contemporary English.In the process of communication words and word-groups can be shortened. The causes of shortening can be linguistic and extra-linguistic. By extra-linguistic causes changes in the life of people are meant. In Modern English many new abbreviations, acronyms, initials, blends are formed because the tempo of life is increasing and it becomes necessary to give more and more i information in the shortest possible time.
There are also linguistic causes of abbreviating words and word-groups, such as the demand of rhythm, which is satisfied in English by monosyllabic words. When borrowings from other languages are assimilated in English they are shortened. Here we have modification of form on the basis of analogy, e.g. the Latin borrowing "fanaticus" is shortened to "fan" on the analogy with native words: man, pan, tan etc.There are two main types of shortenings: graphical and lexical.Graphical abbreviations are the result of shortening of words and word-groups only in written speech while orally the corresponding full forms are used. They are used for the economy of space and effort in writing.Graphical abbreviations are restricted in use to written speech, occurring only in various kinds of texts, articles, books, advertisements, letters, etc. In reading, many of them are substituted by the words and phrases that they represent, e.g. Dr. = doctor, Mr.=mister, Oct.= October, etc.; the abbreviations of Latin and French words and phrases are usually read as their English equivalents. It follows that graphical abbreviations cannot be considered new lexical vocabulary units.It is only natural that in the course of language development some graphical abbreviations should gradually penetrate into the sphere of oral intercourse and, as a result, turn into self-contained lexical units used both in oral and written speech. That is the case, for instance, with a.m. ['ei'em] -- `in the morning, before noon'; p.m. ['pi:'em] - `in the afternoon'; S.O.S. ['es `ou `es] (=Save Our Souls) - `urgent call for help', etc. 1. Transformations of word-groups into words involve different types of lexical shortening: ellipsis or substantivisation, initial letter or syllable abbreviations (also referred to as acronyms), blendings, etc.Substantivisation consists in dropping of the final nominal member of a frequently used attributive word-group. When such a member of the word-group is dropped as, for example, was the case with a documentary film the remaining adjective takes on the meaning and all the syntactic functions of the noun and thus develops into a new word changing its class membership and becoming homonymous to the existing adjective. It may be illustrated by a number of nouns that appeared in this way, e.g. an incendiary goes back to an incendiary bomb, the finals to the final examinations, an editorial to an editorial article, etc. Other more recent creations are an orbital (Br. `a highway going around the suburbs of a city'), a verbal (`a verbal confession introduced as evidence at a trial'), a topless which goes to three different word-groups and accordingly has three meanings: 1) a topless dress, bathing suit, etc., 2) a waitress, dancer, etc. wearing topless garments, 3) a bar, night-club featuring topless waitresses or performers.Substantivisation is often accompanied by productive suffixation as in, e.g., a one-winger from one-wing plane, a two-decker from two-deck bus or ship; it may be accompanied by clipping and productive suffixation, e.g. flickers (coll.) from flicking pictures, a smoker from smoking carriage, etc. Вlendings are the result of conscious creation of words by merging irregular fragments of several words which are aptly called "splinters." 1 Splinters assume different shapes -- they may be severed from the source word at a morpheme boundary as in transceiver (=transmitter and receiver), transistor (= transfer and resistor) or at a syllable boundary like cute (from execute) in electrocute, medicare (from medical care), polutician (from pollute and politician) or boundaries of both kinds may be disregarded as in brunch (from breakfast and lunch), smog (from smoke and fog), ballute (from baloon and parachute), etc. Many blends show some degree of overlapping of vowels, consonants and syllables or echo the word or word fragment it replaces. This device is often used to attain punning effect, as in foolosopher echoing philosopher; icecapade (= spectacular shows on ice) echoing escapade; baloonatic (= baloon and lunatic).Blends are coined not infrequently in scientific and technical language as a means of naming new things, as trade names in advertisements. Since blends break the rules of morphology they result in original combinations which catch quickly. Most of the blends have a colloquial flavour.
2. Clipping refers to the creation of new words by shortening a word of two or more syllables (usually nouns and adjectives) without changing its class membership. Clipped words, though they often exist together with the longer original source word function as independent lexical units with a certain phonetic shape and lexical meaning of their own. The lexical meanings of the clipped word and its source do not as a rule coincide, for instance, doc refers only to `one who practices medicine', whereas doctor denotes also `the higher degree given by a university and a person who has received it', e.g. Doctor of Law, Doctor of Philosophy. Clipped words always differ from the non-clipped words in the emotive charge and stylistic reference. Clippings indicate an attitude of familiarity on the part of the user either towards the object denoted or towards the audience, thus clipped words are characteristic of colloquial speech. In the course of time, though, many clipped words find their way into the literary language losing some of their colloquial colouring. Clippings show various degrees of semantic dissociation from their full forms. Some are no longer felt to be clippings, e.g. pants (cf. pantaloons), bus (cf. omnibus), bike (cf. bicycle), etc. Some of them retain rather close semantic ties with the original word. This gives ground to doubt whether the clipped words should be considered separate words. Some linguists hold the view that in case semantic dissociation is slight and the major difference lies in the emotive charge and stylistic application the two units should be regarded as word-variants (e.g. exam and examination, lab and laboratory, etc.).Clipping often accompanies other ways of shortening such as substantivisation, e.g. perm (from permanent wave), op (from optical art), pop (from popular music, art, singer, etc.), etc.As independent vocabulary units clippings serve as derivational bases for suffixal derivations collocating with highly productive neutral and stylistically non-neutral suffixes -ie, -er, e.g. nightie (cf. nightdress), panties, hanky (cf. handkerchief). Cases of conversion are not infrequent, e.g. to taxi, to perm, etc.There do not seem to be any clear rules by means of which we might predict where a word will be cut though there are several types into which clippings are traditionally classified according to the part of the word that is clipped:
1)Words that have been shortened at the end--the so-called apocope, e.g. ad (from advertisement), lab (from laboratory), mike (from microphone), etc. Words that have been shortened at the beginning--the so-called aphaeresis, e.g. car (from motor-car), phone (from telephone), copter (from helicopter), etc 2)Words in which some syllables or sounds have been omitted from the middle--the so-called syncope, e.g. maths (from mathematics), pants (from pantaloons), specs (from spectacles), etc. 3)Words that have been clipped both at the beginning and at the end, e.g. flu (from influenza), tec (from detective), fridge (from refrigerator), etc.It must be stressed that acronyms and clipping are the main ways of word-creation most active in present-day English. The peculiarity of both types of words is that they are structurally simple, semantically non-motivated and give rise to new root-morphemes. The oldest group of graphical abbreviations in English is of Latin origin. In Russian this type of abbreviation is not typical. In these abbreviations in the spelling Latin words are shortened, while orally the corresponding English equivalents are pronounced in the full form,e.g. for example (Latin exampli gratia), a.m. - in the morning (ante meridiem), No -number (numero), p.a. - a year (per annum), d - penny (dinarius), lb - pound (libra), i. e. - that is (id est) etc. Some graphical abbreviations of Latin origin have different English equivalents in different contexts, e.g. p.m. can be pronounced "in the afternoon" (post meridiem) and "after death" (post mortem).There are also graphical abbreviations of native origin, where in the spelling we have abbreviations of words and word-groups of the corresponding English equivalents in the full form. We have several semantic groups of them:
a) days of the week, e.g. Mon - Monday, Tue - Tuesday etc.
b) names of months, e.g. Apr - April, Aug - August etc.
c) names of counties in UK, e.g. Yorks - Yorkshire, Berks -Berkshire etc.
d) names of states in USA, e.g. Ala - Alabama, Alas - Alaska etc.
e) names of address, e.g. Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. etc.
f) military ranks, e.g. capt. -captain, col. - colonel, sgt - sergeant etc.
g) scientific degrees, e.g. B.A. - Bachelor of Arts, D.M. - Doctor of Medicine . ( Sometimes in scientific degrees we have abbreviations of Latin origin, e.g., M.B. - Medicinae Baccalauras).
h) units of time, length, weight, e.g. f. / ft -foot/feet, sec. - second, in. -inch, mg. -milligram etc.The reading of some graphical abbreviations depends on the context, e.g. "m" can be read as: male, married, masculine, metre, mile, million, minute, "l.p." can be read as long-playing, low pressure.Initialisms are the bordering case between graphical and lexical abbreviations. When they appear in the language, as a rule, to denote some new offices they are closer to graphical abbreviations because orally full forms are used, e.g. J.V. - joint venture. When they are used for some duration of time they acquire the shortened form of pronouncing and become closer to lexical abbreviations, e.g. BBC is as a rule pronounced in the shortened form.
In some cases the translation of initialisms is next to impossible without using special dictionaries. Initialisms are denoted in different ways. Very often they are expressed in the way they are pronounced in the language of their origin, e.g. ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States) is given in Russian as АНЗУС, SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) was for a long time used in Russian as COJIT, now a translation variant is used (ОСВ -Договор об ограничении стратегических вооружений). This type of initialisms borrowed into other languages is preferable, e.g. UFO -НЛО, СП-JVetc.There are three types of initialisms in English:
a) initialisms with alphabetical reading, such as UK, BUP, CND etcb) initialisms which are read as if they are words, e.g. UNESCO, UNO, NATO etc.
c) initialisms which coincide with English words in their sound form, such initialisms are called acronyms, e.g. CLASS (Computor-based Laboratory for Automated School System).Some scientists unite groups b) and c) into one group which they call acronyms. Some initialisms can form new words in which they act as root morphemes by different ways of word-building:a) affixation, e.g. AWALism, ex-rafer, ex- POW, to waafize, AIDSophobia etc.
b) conversion, e.g. to raff, to fly IFR (Instalment Flight Rules),
c) composition, e.g. STOLport, USAFman etc.
d) there are also compound-shortened words where the first component is an initial abbreviation with the alphabetical reading and the second one is a complete word, e.g. A-bomb, U-pronunciation, V -day etc. in some cases the first component is a complete word and the second component is an initial abbreviation with the alphabetical pronunciation, e.g. Three -Ds (Three dimensions).Abbreviation of words consists in clipping a part of a word. As a result we get a new lexical unit where either the lexical meaning or the style is different form the full form of the word. In such cases as "fantasy" and "fancy", "fence" and "defence" we have different lexical meanings. In such cases as "laboratory" and "lab" we have different styles.Abbreviation does not change the part-of-speech meaning, as we have it in the case of conversion or affixation, it produces words belonging to the same part of speech as the primary word, e.g. prof is a noun and professor is also a noun. Mostly nouns undergo abbreviation, but we can also meet abbreviation of verbs, such as to rev from to revolve, to tab from to tabulate etc. But mostly abbreviated forms of verbs are formed by means of conversion from abbreviated nouns, e.g. to taxi, to vac etc. Adjectives can be abbreviated but they are mostly used in school slang and are combined with suffixation, e.g. comfy, dilly, mizzy etc.Here we can mention a group of words ending in "o", such as disco (dicotheque), expo (exposition), intro (introduction) and many others. On the analogy with these words there developed in Modern English a number of words where "o" is added as a kind of a suffix to the shortened form of the word, e.g. combo (combination) - небольшой эстрадный ансамбль, Afro (African) -прическа под африканца etc. In other cases the beginning of the word is clipped. In such cases we have apheresis e.g. chute (parachute), varsity (university), copter (helicopter), thuse (enthuse) etc. Sometimes the middle of the word is clipped, e.g. mart (market), fanzine (fan magazine) maths (mathematics). Such abbreviations are called syncope. Sometimes we have a combination of apocope with apheresis,when the beginning and the end of the word are clipped, e.g. tec (detective), van (avanguard).Sometimes shortening influences the spelling of the word, e.g. "c" can be substituted by "k" before "e" to preserve pronunciation, e.g. mike (microphone), Coke (coca-cola) etc. The same rule is observed in the following cases: fax( facsimile), teck (technical college), trank (tranquilizer) etc. The final consonants in the shortened forms are substituded by letters characteristic of native English words.This comparatively new way of word-building has achieved a high degree of productivity nowadays, especially in American English.An abbreviation is a short way of writing a word or a phrase that could also be written out in full. So, for example, you might write Dr Kinsey instead of Doctor Kinsey. Here Dr is an abbreviation for the word Doctor. Abbreviations must be clearly distinguished from contractions. The key difference is that an abbreviation does not normally have a distinctive pronunciation of its own. So, for example, the abbreviation Dr is pronounced just like Doctor, the abbreviation oz is pronounced just like ounce(s) and the abbreviation e.g. is pronounced just like for example. (True, there are a few people who actually say "ee-jee" for the last one, but this practice is decidedly unusual.) A contraction, in contrast, does have its own distinctive pronunciation: for example, the contraction can't is pronounced differently from cannot, and the contraction she's is pronounced differently from she is or she has. Abbreviations are very rarely used in formal writing. Almost the only ones which are frequently used are the abbreviations for certain common titles, when these are used with someone's name: Mr Willis, Dr Livingstone, Mrs Thatcher, Ms Harmon, St Joan. (Note that the two items Mrs and Ms are conventionally treated as abbreviations, even though they can be written in no other way.) When writing about a French or Spanish person, you may use the abbreviations for the French and Spanish equivalents of the English titles: M. Mitterrand, Sr. Gonzalez. (These are the usual French and Spanish abbreviations for Monsieur and Senor, equivalent to English Mister.) Observe that each of these abbreviations begins with a capital letter. Other titles are sometimes abbreviated in the same way: Prof. Chomsky, Sgt. Yorke, Mgr. Lindemann. However, it is usually much better to write these titles out in full when you are using them in a sentence: Professor Chomsky, Sergeant Yorke, Monsignor Lindemann. The abbreviated forms are best confined to places like footnotes and captions of pictures. Note carefully the use of full stops in these abbreviations. British usage favours omitting the full stop in abbreviations which include the first and last letters of a single word, such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr and St; American usage prefers (A) Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. and St., with full stops. Most other abbreviated titles, however, require a full stop, as shown above. A person's initials are a kind of abbreviation, and these are usually followed by full stops: John D. Rockefeller, C. Aubrey Smith, O. J. Simpson. Increasingly, however, there is a tendency to write such initials without full stops: John D Rockefeller, C Aubrey Smith, O J Simpson. And note the rare special case illustrated by Harry S Truman: the S in this name never takes a full stop, because it's not an abbreviation for anything; President Truman's parents actually gave him the middle name S. Two other common abbreviations are a.m. (`before noon') and p.m. (`after noon'): 10.00 a.m., six p.m. These are always acceptable. Note that these are not capitalized in British usage (though American usage prefers (A) 10.00 am and six pm, with small capitals and no full stops). Also usual are the abbreviations b.c. and a.d., usually written in small capitals, for marking dates as before or after the birth of Christ: According to tradition, Rome was founded in 753 b.c. The emperor Vespasian died in a.d. 79. or The emperor Vespasian died in 79 a.d. It is traditional, and recommended, to write a.d. before the date, but nowadays it is often written after. Non-Christians who do not use the Christian calendar may prefer to use b.c.e. (`before the common era') and c.e. (`of the common era') instead. This is always acceptable: According to tradition, Rome was founded in 753 b.c.e The emperor Vespasian died in 79 c.e. All four of these abbreviations are commonly written in small capitals, and you should follow this practice if you can; if you can't produce small capitals, use full-sized capitals instead. All four of them are also now very frequently written without full stops: 753 bc, ad 79, 753 bce, 79 ce. This reflects the increasing tendency to omit the full stops in abbreviations. Note also that, when an abbreviation comes at the end of a sentence, only one full stop is written. You should never write two full stops in a row. The second way of shortening is to make a new word from the initial letters of a word group. They are found not only among formal words but also among colloquialisms and slang. Many large and well-known organizations and companies have very long names which are commonly abbreviated to a set of initials written in capital letters, usually with no full stops. Here are a few familiar examples: BBC -British Broadcasting Corporation ICI -Imperial Chemical Industries FBI -Federal Bureau of Investigation RSPCA -Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals NATO -North Atlantic Treaty Organization MIT -Massachusetts Institute of Technology TUC -Trades Union Congress These and some others are so famous that you can safely use the abbreviated forms without explanation. But don't overdo it , not every reader will recognize IRO as the International Refugee Organization, or IOOF as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (an American social and charitable organization). And, if you're writing for a non-British readership, you'd better not use the abbreviated forms of specifically British institutions, such as the TUC, without explaining them. If you are in doubt, explain the abbreviation the first time you use it. (Note that a few of these were formerly written with full stops, such as R.S.P.C.A., but this tiresome and unnecessary practice is now obsolete). A few other abbreviations are so well known that you can use them safely in your writing. Every reader will understand what you mean by GCSE examinations (GCSE = General Certificate of Secondary Education), or by DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), or by IQ (intelligence quotient), or by FM radio (FM = frequency modulation). Indeed, in some of these cases, the abbreviated form of the name is far more familiar than the full name. Otherwise, however, you should try to avoid the use of abbreviations in your formal writing. The frequent use of unnecessary abbreviations will make your text irritating and hard to read. So, you should write four ounces (not 4 oz.), 80 miles per hour (not 80 mph), the Church of England (not the C of E), the seventeenth century (not C17 or the 17th cent.) and the second volume (not the 2nd vol.) It is far more important to make your writing easy to read than to save a few seconds in writing it. There is one exception to this policy. In scientific writing, the names of units are always abbreviated and always written without full stops or a plural s. If you are doing scientific writing, then, you should conform by writing 5 kg (not 5 kilogrammes, and certainly not 5 kg. or 5 kgs.), 800 Hz (not 800 Hertz) and 17.3 cm3 (not 17.3 cubic centimetres). There are a number of Latin abbreviations which are sometimes used in English texts. Here are the commonest ones with their English equivalents: e.g. for example cf. compare i.e. in other words v. consultviz. namely etc. and so forth sc. which means et al. and other people ca. ApproximatelyThe rule about using these Latin abbreviations is very simple: don't use them. Their use is only appropriate in special circumstances in which brevity is at a premium, such as in footnotes. It is very poor style to spatter your page with these things, and it could be disastrous to use them without being quite sure what they mean. If you do use one, make sure you punctuate it correctly. Here is an example. The recommended form is this: Several British universities were founded in the Victorian era; for example, the University of Manchester was established in 1851. The following version is not wrong, but it is poor style:
Several British universities were founded in the Victorian era; e.g., the University of Manchester was established in 1851.But this next version is disastrously wrong, because the punctuation has been omitted:
Several British universities were founded in the Victorian era e.g. the University of Manchester was established in 1851. Using a Latin abbreviation does not relieve you of the obligation of punctuating your sentence. Again, if you avoid Latin abbreviations, you won't get into this sort of trouble. The abbreviation ca. `approximately' is properly used only in citing a date which is not known exactly, and then usually only if the date is given in parentheses.
The famous Basque cemetery of Argineta in Elorrio (ca. ad 883) shows tombs with sun-discs but no crosses. Roger Bacon (ca. 1214- 1294) was known as "the Admirable Doctor". Here the use of ca. shows that the date of the cemetery and the date of Bacon's birth are not known exactly. If neither birth date nor death date is known for sure, then each is preceded by ca. Outside of parentheses, you should usually avoid the use of ca. and prefer an English word like about or approximately: The city of Bilbao was founded in about 1210.Do not write "...in ca. 1210".
The abbreviation etc. calls for special comment. It should never be used in careful writing: it is vague and sloppy and, when applied to people, rather offensive. Do not write something like this:
Central Africa was explored by Livingstone, Stanley, Brazza, etc.
Instead, rewrite the sentence in a more explicit way:
Central Africa was explored by Livingstone, Stanley and Brazza, among others. orCentral Africa was explored by several Europeans, including Livingstone, Stanley and Brazza.
If you do find yourself using etc., for heaven's sake spell it and punctuate it correctly. This is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase et cetera `and other things', and it is pronounced ET SETRA, and not EK SETRA. Do not write ghastly things like ect. or e.t.c. Such monstrosities make your writing look hopelessly illiterate. Again, if you avoid Latin abbreviations, you won't fall into such traps. 
Finally, there are two further (and highly objectionable) Latin abbreviations ibid. and op. cit.
Observe that it is usual to write Latin abbreviations in italics, but this is not strictly essential, and many people don't bother.
There has recently been a fashion in some circles for writing Latin abbreviations without full stops, and you may come across things like ie and eg in your reading. I consider this a ghastly practice, and I urge you strongly not to imitate it. (Note, however, that et al. has only one full stop, since et `and' is a complete word in Latin.) One final point: very many people who should know better use the Latin abbreviation cf., which properly means `compare', merely to refer to published work. It is now very common to see something like this:
The Australian language Dyirbal has a remarkable gender system; cf. Dixon (1972).
This is quite wrong, since the writer is not inviting the reader to compare Dixon's work with anything, but only to consult that work for more information. Hence the correct form is this:
The Australian language Dyirbal has a remarkable gender system; see Dixon (1972).
This widespread blunder is a signal reminder of the danger of using Latin abbreviations when you don't know what they mean. Far too many writers fall into this trap, and write i.e. when they mean e.g., or something equally awful. If you must use a Latin abbreviation, make sure you're using the right one. In most circumstances, though, you are best advised to avoid these abbreviations: almost every one of them has a simple English equivalent which should usually be preferred.
Formally, some abbreviations may come to resemble blends by combining larger sets of initial and non-initial letters. However, such forms still differ crucially from proper blends in that they do neither obey the three pertinent prosodic constraints, nor do they necessarily conform to the semantic property of blends described above.
The spelling and pronunciation of abbreviations may seem trivial, but nevertheless offers interesting perspectives on the formal properties of these words. Consider the following abbreviations with regard to their spelling and pronunciation differences:
ASAP- as soon as possible
CARE-Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere
CIA-Central Intelligence Agency
etc- et cetera
FBI-Federal Bureau of Investigation
NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization
VAT-value added tax
radar-radio detecting and ranging
START-Strategic Arms Reduction Talks
USA-United States of America
The orthographic and phonetic properties of the abbreviations are indicated in the following table. For some abbreviations there is more than one possibility:
ASAP in capitalsas individual letters
CIA in capitalsas individual letters
FBI in capitalsas individual letters
VAT in capitalsas individual letters
Care in capitalsas a regular word
NATO in capitalsas a regular word
START in capitalsas a regular word
asap in lower case letters with dotsas individual letters
e.g. in lower case letters with dotsas individual letters
etc. in lower case letters with dotsas individual letters
a.s.a.p. in lower case letters with dotsthe abbreviated words are
e.g. in lower case letters with dotsthe abbreviated words are
etc. in lower case letters with dotsthe abbreviated words are
Disregarding the cases where the abbreviation can trigger the regular pronunciation of the abbreviated words(a.s.a.p., e.g., etc.) and ignoring the use or non-use of dots, abbreviations can be grouped according to two orthographic and phonological properties. They can be either spelled in capital or in lower case letters, and they can be either pronounced by naming each individual letters (so-called initialisms, as in USA or by applying regular reading rules, as in NATO ). In the latter case the abbreviation is called acronym. The following table systematizes this observation:
in capitalsas initialism CIA-Central
in capitalsas acronym NATO-North
in lower case lettersas initialism e.g.
in lower case lettersas acronym radar-radio
The spelling of acronyms may differ with regard to use of capital letters. Usually capital letters are used, which can be interpreted as a formal device that clearly links the acronyms to its base word. Some words that historically originated as acronyms are nowadays no longer spelt with capital letters, and for the majority of speakers these forms are no longer related to the words they originally abbreviated(e.g. radar)
Acronyms,being pronounced like regular words, must conform to the phonological patterns of English, which can create problems in applying regular reading rules if the reading out would result in illegal phonological words. For example, an abbreviation like BBC is an unlikely candidate for an acronym, because [bbk] or [bbs] are feature illegal word-internal combination of sounds in English. Sometimes, however, speakers make abbreviations pronounceable, i.e. create acronyms. This seems to be especially popular in the naming of linguistics conference:
NWAVE- New Way of Analyzing Variation in English
SLRF- Second Language Research Forum
Sometimes abbreviations are formed in such a way to yield not only pronouncable words (i.e. acronyms), but also words that are homophonous to existing words. This is often done for marketing or publicity reasons, especially in those cases where homonymous word carries a meaning that is intended to be associated with the referent of the acronym. Consider the following examples:
CARE- Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere
START- Strategic Arms Reduction Talks
The word START in particular is interesting because it was coined not only as a word to refer to an envisioned disarmament treaty between the U.S. And Soviet Union, but it was presumably also coined to evoke the idea that the American side had the intention to make a new, serious effort in disarmament talks with the Soviet Union at a time when many people doubted the willingness of the U.S. Government to seriously want disarmament. Incidentally, the START program replaced an earlier, unsuccessful disarmament effort named SALT(Strategic Arms Limitation Talks). Such data show that in political discourse, the participants consider it important how to name a phenomenon in a particular way in order to win a political argument. The assumption underlying such a strategy is that the name used for a given phenomenon will influence the language user's concept of and attitude towards that phenomenon.
II. The appearance of new abbreviation
Reading modern computer publications, both foreign and domestic, unwittingly encounters a lot of cuts, appropriate technologies, standards and protocols. Their number is increasing day by day, and all the new reductions fall into this category are often used and therefore do not require descriptions. Here are some examples of new abbreviation:
Purchasing the materials required for a repair or renovation that one has hired a tradesperson or other professional to perform. (From the phrase buy-it-yourself.)
Driving while yakking -- driving a car while talking on a cell phone.
A car or other vehicle rigged to act as a bomb. (From vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.)
(All options stink.) a situation in which there is no optimum or ideal course of action.
Relating to the dense cultivation of vegetables and other crops on small plots, particularly in urban settings. (From the phrase Small Plot Intensive).
A member of the Republican party who is viewed as being too liberal. Also: rino. a Republican in name only
(birds of a feather meeting)A meeting held at a computer-related trade show or conference in which people who work in the same technology area at different companies exchange information and experiences. (Often abbreviated as "BOF meeting.")
A bricks-and-mortar company
A real estate development or other construction project to which the local residents are opposed. Acronym based on the phrase "locally unwanted land use."
(Permanent global summertime), the ability to purchase at the wholesale level certain fruits and vegetables from different parts of the world at different times of the year, thus enabling retailers to offer this produce either year round or for longer periods than their traditional local growing seasons.
A depressed urban professional; a person who once had a high-status or high-paying job and must now work in a menial or lower paying job
The End Of The World As We Know It; a catch-all phrase for the chaos and disruption that some people expect will occur in the new millennium.
Peace, love, unity and respect. The unofficial credo of the rave scene.
A woman who finds motherhood and her children tedious and uninteresting. (Acronym from Smart, Middle-Class, Uninvolved, Mother.)
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