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http://Abbreviations may save space on the page or screen, but they do so at the cost of clarity. The plain truth is that abbreviations take more time to read and understand. Helen Moody


Abbreviations and acronyms are quite a stumbling block for any translator; therefore their knowledge can be very helpful.

Abbreviations and acronyms are a form of a word or phrase shortened to its initial components. Usually these components are individual letters (as in NATO or laser) or parts of words or names (as in Benelux). Abbreviations are pronounced as letters, e.g. UNSW, whereas acronyms are pronounced as words, e.g. laser, Aids, NATO, PIN, radar) [1].

Abbreviations and acronyms occur in all fields of human knowledge, including technical writing, but they are most frequently used to name titles, professions, art groups and especially organizations and associations — UNO, USAID, IMF, AU, etc. They also appear as names of appliances, such as TV, VCD, DVD, etc., vehicles and on vehicle license plates. Another area where abbreviations abound is in academic certificates and names of educational institutions such as B.A, B.S., M.A., M.B.A., Ph.D., IITU, etc. And also many abbreviations are used online, in chat rooms, etc. and in our daily life.

Some most frequently used English abbreviations and acronyms [4]:

Financial, commercial & business Information Technology
CV = Curriculum Vitae (resume in American English) Dept. = Department GM = Genetically Modified IMF = The International Monetary Fund IBRD = The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ILO = International Labour Organisation GNP = Gross National Product GDP = Gross Domestic Product GNI = Gross National Income Ltd = Limited (company) NASDAQ = National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (system) PA = Personal Assistant or Public Address (system) plc = pubic limited company JSC = joint stock company p.p. = signed on behalf of (from the Latin 'per procurationem') VAT = Value Added Tax (Government tax on luxury goods) VIP = Very important person ADSL = Asymmetric digital subscriber line ARP = Address Resolution Protocol ATM = Asynchronous Transfer Mode BSS = Basic service set DCE = Data communications equipment FTP = File Transfer Protocol http = HyperText Transfer Protocol https = HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure IEEE = Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers IP = Internet Protocol ISP = Internet service provider LAN = Local area network NAC = Network access control NAT = Network Address Translation PAP = Password authentication protocol POTS = Plain old telephone service RAM = Random Access Memory RTP = Real-time Transport Protocol TCP/IP = Transmission Control USB = Universal Serial Bus VPN = Virtual private network WAN = Wide-area network WPA = Wi-Fi Protected Access
Academic English Common Abbreviations
e.g. = for example etc. = and so on (stands for the Latin et cetera) i.e. – in other words ibid.= the same or in the same place Op. cit. = work cited (comes from the Latin opus citatum or opere citato) c.f. = for a comparison with an outside work et al. = and others colloq. = colloquial fig.= figure illus.= illustration, illustrated by NB = take note (from the Latin nota bene) qtd. = quoted rev. = revision, revised by viz. = namely (from the Latin videlicet) vol.= volume vs. = versus ch. (chap.) = chapter approx. = approximately encl. = enclosed FAO = For the attention of fig = figure (drawing or picture) incl. = including / inclusive info. = information intro. = introduction misc. = miscellaneous N/A = Not applicable (does not apply) PTO = Please turn over (the page) PP = pages No. = number p. = page para = paragraph cap. = capital, capitalize doc. = document ed. = editor, edition, edited by
Acronyms International and governmental organisations
AIDS = Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome FIFA = The Federation of International Football Associations NATO = The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation OPEC = Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries TOEFL = Test of English as a Foreign Language UEFA = Union of European Football Associations UNCTAD = United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNESCO = United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNICEF = United Nations Children's Fund CIA = The Central Intelligence Agency EEC = The European Economic Community EU = The European Union IOC = The International Olympic Committee NGO = Non-governmental organisation UN = The United Nations UNO = The United Nations Organisation UNHCR = Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees WFP = World Food Programme WHO = The World Health Organisation WTO = The World Trade Organisation WWF = The World Wildlife Fund  
SMS, Texting, Chat Academic Degrees
AFAIK=As Far As I Know AKA=Also Known As ASAP = As soon as possible B4N = Bye for now BOT = Back On Topic BRB = Be Right Back GBTW = Get Back To Work LOL=Laughing Out Loud NP = No problem ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing ROTF = Rolling On The Floor SS = So Sorry SYS = See You Soon YWIA = You're Welcome In Advance ADSE = Advanced Diploma of Software Engineering ADSD = Advanced Diploma in Software Development B.E. = Bachelor of Engineering B.A.= Bachelor of Arts B.Ed = Bachelor of Education B.J. = Bachelor Of Journalism B.Sc. = Bachelor of Science B.TECH. = Bachelor of Technology B.C.A. = Bachelor of Computer Applications
Units of measurement in IT Weight, measurements and time
B = byte KB = kilobyte MB = megabyte GB = gigabyte bps = bit per second gigahertz = GHz hertz = Hz kilobyte = KB kilobit = Kb kilobits per second = Kbps kilohertz = KHz megabyte =MB megabit = Mb megabits per second = Mbps megahertz = MHz C = Centigrade cm = centremetre(s) g = gram kg = kilogram km = kilometre(s) lb = imperial pound (weight) m = metre(s) or million oz = imperial ounce (weight) p.a. = per year (from the Latin 'per annum') pt = imperial pint (liquid) t = Ton (weight) tsp = teaspoon (cooking) tbsp = tablespoon (cooking) hr = hour min = minute sec = second


[1] R. M. Ritter, New Hart’s Rules: The handbook of style for writers and editors. Oxford University Press, 2005.

[2] R. Nordquist, Commonly Confused Latin Abbreviations in English. [Online]. Available: http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/latinabbrev.htm [Accessed: Dec.2013]

[3] Technical Writing. Features & Conventions, the University of New South Wales, the Learning Centre, 1999—2008. [Online]. Available: http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/pdf/techwrit.pdf [Accessed: Oct. 16, 2012]

[4] List of commonly used abbreviations, LoveToKnow Corp., 2006- 2013. [Online]. Available: http://home=school.lovetoknow.com/List_of_Commonly_Used_Abbreviations [Accessed Jan. 24, 2013]

[5] Learn Technical Writing - Exercise - Consistent Use of Numbers, Abbreviations and Symbols, Ezine article, 2008. [Online]. Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?Learn=Technical=Writing===Exercise===Consistent=Use=of=Numbers,=Abbreviations=and=Symbols&id=1458926 [Accessed: Dec. 23, 2012]

[6] Exercise A. Numbers and abbreviations. [Online]. Available: http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/english/langan/sentence_skills/exercises/ch20/p4exl.htm [Accessed: Dec. 16, 2012]



REMEMBER[2], [3]


· As a general rule, don't abbreviate the days of the week unless they appear in charts, tables, or slides. Don't abbreviate the month if it appears alone or with just the year. The month preceded or followed by a numeral (14 Aug. or Aug. 14) is abbreviated as Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Aug., Sep. (or Sept.), Oct., Nov., Dec. Don't abbreviate May, June, and July.

· Certain abbreviations are never spelled out: a.m., p.m., B.C. (or B.C.E.), A.D. (or C.E.). Unless your style guide says otherwise, use lower case or small capitals for a.m. and p.m. Use capital letters or small caps for B.C. and A.D. (the periods are optional). Traditionally, B.C. comes after the year and A.D. comes before it, but nowadays the abbreviation commonly follows the year in both instances.

· Units of measurement that are named after a person have an upper-case first letter when abbreviated; all other units have a lower-case first letter, for instance: kHz.

· The same abbreviation is used for the singular and plural form of a unit. There should always be one blank space between a number and a unit: "5 kHz", not "5kHz".

· To form the plural of an abbreviation simply add a lowercase s to the end. e.g. a group of MPs, Mind your Ps and Qs.

· A period is not placed after an abbreviated unit, unless it is at the end of the sentence, except for some most commonly used abbreviations: e.g. (for example), etc. (and other things), i.e. (that is).

· Some abbreviations have different meanings depending on the context, e.g. PC can stand for Personal Computer or Printed Circuit.

· The first time you use an abbreviation or acronym, you must spell out the full term followed by the abbreviation or acronym in brackets. Subsequent use of the term is then made by its abbreviation or acronym, e.g. The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is situated on Anzac Parade, Kensington. The best way to travel to UNSW is by public transport.

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