When Not to Abbreviate?



There are certain times when it’s not okay to abbreviate. So it’s pretty much up to the writer’s discernment to decide whether or not they can abbreviate in this situation. The do no rule is in formal writing don’t use abbreviations. Now, in formal writing some abbreviations like Mister, Mrs. or Doctor, are still okay to use but many abbreviations are just used for non-formal writing. The things like e-mails and texts or personal notes or notes on a calendar but when you’re actually writing them in formal writing it’s very unprofessional to use those abbreviations. So I want to take a look at some of those times when it’s not okay to use abbreviations. One case is when you abbreviate words like the word night to be nite or right to be rite or you use the abbreviation ttyl – talk to you later. Those things are fine in texts or emails but they’re not okay in formal writing at all. Other abbreviations like for days of the week – Monday or January. Again, those are okay in many different circumstances for notes that you’re handing to somebody else or if you’re writing a date on a calendar – Monday, January – abbreviations like that are great for that kind of use but in formal writing they’re not okay. Other times it’s not good to use abbreviations is any time the abbreviation is not very common. So = like using USA in a sentence would be fine but using some kind of abbreviation like for a state, like writing MN for Maine in formal writing would not be okay because that’s not seen as commonly. So this would just be for the front of an envelope for an address. You wouldn’t use that in a sentence. When using USA in a sentence or something like DOJ for Department of Justice would be fine as well. So it’s kind of hard to give you a rule of when you can use abbreviations and when you cannot use abbreviations. It’s really up to your discernment and kind of notice the things that I wrote up here on this board the things you shouldn’t abbreviate and that’ll help guide you in decisions as to whether to abbreviate or not to abbreviate.

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Last updated: 10/30/2017
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