Abbreviations and Numbers Lecture

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Abbreviations and Numbers

1. Definition of Abbreviations

- Abbreviations include shortened versions of words (Mr. Rev.,fig.), initialisms formed from the first letters of a series of words (FBI, NBC, IBM), and acronyms, or initialisms that are pronounced as words (OPEC, NASA, RAM). In formal writing, abbreviations should be used sparingly. If you are not sure that readers will know what a certain abbreviation stands for, spell out the word the first time it is used and put the abbreviation in parentheses right after it.

Example: The internet uses a domain name system (DNS) for all its servers worldwide.

I am a student at the University of Utah (U of U)

2. Abbreviate titles, ranks, and degrees

-Abbreviate titles, ranks, and degrees are used only before or after full names.

Title before full name Degree or rank after full name

Ms. YukoShinoda Jan Stankowski, DDS

Mr. Steven D. Gold Derek Rudick, CPA

Dr. Teresa Rivera Teresa Rivera, MD

Prof. Jamie Smith-Weber Young-Sook Kim, PhD

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. James Norton, PFC

Rep. Nancy Pelosi Chris L. Miller, DSW

However, when titles or ranks are followed by only a surname, they should be spelled out

Example: General Clark, Senator Lott, Professor Michael

3. Write out other numbers that can be expressed in one or two words

-One to ninety-nine

15 (X) fifteen (O) 23 (X) twenty-three (O) 97 (X) ninety-seven (O)


2/3 (X) two-thirds 1/4(X) one-fourth (O) 5/16(X) five-sixteenths (O)

-Decades and centuries

The eighties (or the ‘80s)

The twenty-first century (or the 21st century)

4. Write out numbers that begin sentences

- Avoid beginning sentence with a number that is not written out.

Example: 72 inches equals approximately 1.83 meters. (X)

Seventy-two inches equals approximately 1.83 meters. (O)

- When a number is too large to write out (more than two words), keep the numerical form but rearrange the sentence so as to avoid beginning with a...