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AP style, part 3. Abbreviations and acronyms. In general. Acronym – A word or construction formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not quickly recognize. . Abbreviate before a name.

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ap style part 3

AP style, part 3

Abbreviations and acronyms

in general
In general
  • Acronym – A word or construction formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words.
  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms that the reader would not quickly recognize.
abbreviate before a name
Abbreviate before a name
  • Some titles when used before a name. Military and political titles, as we discussed last week – Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen., Lt. Gen. See military titles entry.
  • Religious titles – the Rev. The word “the” is always used before Rev. in that construction. See religious titles entry.
abbreviate cont
Abbreviate, cont.
  • After using a title the first time, you just refer to the person by their last name for the rest of the story.For example: The Rev. John Anderson spoke at the stadium. Anderson was invited by several campus groups.
abbreviate after a name
Abbreviate after a name
  • Abbreviate the junior or senior when used after a name. For example: Ken Griffey Jr. (Also - no need for a comma before the Jr.)
  • Abbreviate company, corporation, incorporated or limited when used after the name of a corporate entity.For example: Ford Motor Co. McDonald’s Corp. See company names in the stylebook for many, many examples.
academic degrees
Academic degrees
  • In some cases, academic degrees are abbreviated when used after a person’s name. But it is preferred to use a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology.
  • Use abbreviations such as B.A., M.A., LL.D and Ph.D. only when the need to identify many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome.
academic degrees cont
Academic degrees, cont.
  • Use those abbreviations only after a full name – never with just a last name.
  • Do not precede a name with a courtesy title for a degree and follow the name with the abbreviation for the degree. That is redundant.
  • See academic degrees entry in the stylebook for all the fun details.
dates and times
Dates and times
  • For years, when necessary, use A.D. and B.C.
  • For times, use a.m. and p.m. Always lowercase.
  • Use No. to indicate a room number.
  • The above abbreviations are only used with figures. If you have general use, it is morning, night, number, etc. For example: 450 B.C.; at 9:30 a.m.; room No. 416; early this morning he asked for the number of your room.
  • Abbreviate avenue, boulevard, and street only when used with specific numbered addresses. For example: The store on Washington Street. The store at 142 Washington St.
  • Never abbreviate any other word that refers to an address, like road, alley, terrace, trail, etc.
well known organizations
Well-known organizations
  • Some organizations are so well known that we can refer to them by their initials in all references.
  • Some other abbreviations are so well known that we can use them in all references.
not as well known organizations
Not as well-known organizations
  • We can use abbreviated titles to refer to other groups on second reference. When they are first mentioned in a story, spell out the title, then in other references, use the abbreviated title.
  • Don’t follow the group’s name with an abbreviation or acronym right after the name in parentheses or set off by dashes. Simply use it on the second and subsequent references.
for example
For example
  • DO NOT DO THIS: The Michigan Press Association (MPA) scholarship is available to students throughout the state.
  • How we do it: The Michigan Press Association scholarship is available to students throughout the state.The MPA has offered the scholarship since 1972.
periods or not
Periods or not?
  • Generally, we don’t use periods in acronyms unless the result would spell an unrelated word.
  • Use periods in most two-letter abbreviations: U.S., U.K., B.C., U.N.
  • AP, a trademark for the Associated Press, does not use periods. Also, GI and EU do not use periods.
periods or not continued
Periods or not? continued
  • Use all caps, but no periods, for longer abbreviations when all the letters are pronounced: ABC, CIA, FBI, NCAA
  • Use an initial capital letter and then lowercase for acronyms of more than six letters, unless listed otherwise in the stylebook or dictionary.
  • For example: laser, radar.
  • If you wonder about any of these – or any other references – look them up in the stylebook.
  • Can’t find the answer there? Look in the dictionary.