Abbreviations: Should I Abbrev. or Abbreviate?

WRITTEN December 7, 2011 Author: Rich Atkins

Should I Abbrev. or Abbreviate?  When it is appropriate to use abbreviations?

When using abbreviations (and contractions), remember that it means that there is less formality in your communication. That’s fine, depending on the audience. If you are writing an ultra-formal document (think about how a wedding invitation reads), there should be no abbreviations. When using shortened versions of words, remember the guidelines listed below.

Abbreviate:

  • Titles before and after full proper names Dr., Mrs., Jr., Ed.D.
  • Mailing address words Rd., St., Blvd.
  • Titles, with first and last names. Sen. Bill Washington
  • Senator Washington

When used in sentences, do not abbreviate:

  • States
  • Days of the week
  • Months
  • Personal names
  • Street address words, such as road, street, and boulevard

An example like this is all wrong:

Robt. spent the last Tues. of Dec. on the Ave. in NY.


This information is from the Effective Business Writing class. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of the public classes we offer.

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