Shortenings

Shortenings are abbreviations in which the beginning or end of the word has been dropped. In some cases both the beginning and the end have been omitted. Examples include:

shortening

original form

cello

violoncello

flu

influenza

ad

advertisement

blog

weblog

rhino

rhinoceros

telly

television

bike

bicycle

 

In some cases, the shortening involves a slight spelling change, as with bike and telly.

 

These shortenings are now an accepted part of the language. In fact some of the original, longer forms tend to be used only in formal or technical writing. It would sound rather odd, for example, to describe a person as suffering from influenza unless you were writing in a scientific context.

  • You do not need to use an apostrophe in shortenings to show that letters have been omitted.
  • You should only use a capital letter if the original form also starts with a capital letter, for example:

Med

Mediterranean

Brit

British (person)

Jag

Jaguar

  • You do not need to use a full stop unless the shortening is one created specifically for use in writing, for example:

Dec.

December

Tue.

Tuesday

etc.

et cetera

 

Back to abbreviations.

 

You may also be interested in

Contractions

Initialisms

Acronyms


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Grammar and usage