abbreviations



abbreviations defined in 1939 year

abbreviations - Abbreviations (Latin ad, to; brevis, short);
abbreviations - are commonly used in both speech and writing to save time and space, though abbreviated forms of proper names, either of persons or of places, may also express affection. Examples are found in Greek, Latin, and other MSS., in ancient inscriptions, and on early medals and coins as on modern ones. Their use has been greatly extended in modern speech and writing. Everyone can and does abbreviate words as he pleases, the only requisite being that the meaning should be understood by those addressed. Hence such contractions in correspondence as yrs ffly and the economical devices resorted to in newspaper advertisements paid for by the line. Many abbreviations, although more formalised, are of no more than local or transitory significance. Others are of importance only to specialised groups or in connexion with specialised activities, e.g. those used by such bodies as the Freemasons and those used in the printing of knitting instructions or chess problems.

On the other hand, many words have become more familiar in their shortened than in their full form. Such abbreviations as bus, cab, cello, maths, memo, per cent, perm, phone, photo, piano, pram, pub, taxi, and zoo require no explanation, being almost accepted as words in their own right. Occasionally an abbreviated form has even acquired a different meaning from that of the full word: thus navvy is not now a synonym for navigator, nor does the colloquial English blitz carry precisely the same connotation as the German parent word Blitzkrieg.

To the use of initial letters as a form of abbreviation there is no apparent limit. Their popularity has long been a source of jest. In modern times various commercial and industrial firms have been alert to the advantage of using initials in advertising, thereby swelling beyond all computation the number of initial-letter abbreviations now in common currency.

No list of abbreviations, therefore, could ever be called complete. But the list given here does claim to be thoroughly comprehensive in that it gives the standard form of every accepted current abbreviation that the average person may expect to meet or require to use.

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