Abbreviations

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Abbreviated Names and Social Titles

Use the full name in standard writing unless the person uses an initial as part of his or her name. Initials may be used in lists and addresses if appropriate. Correct: George Smith Correct, only in list or address: G. Smith Correct: Robert E. Lee (The initial is fine here because that is the name

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Abbreviated Rank and Academic Titles

There are a number of common titles of position and rank which are abbreviated. Except for Dr., they are used only before a person’s full name (i.e., at least first and last names); otherwise, the title is spelled out. Correct: Sgt. Alvin York Fr. Robert Drinan Prof. William Alfred Dr. Milton Friedman Incorrect: Sgt. York

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Abbreviations After a Name

Abbreviations after a name–such as Jr., Sr., and academic titles–are set off by commas. They begin with a capital letter and end with a period. Do not use the abbreviations unless they follow the name. Correct: William F. Buckley, Jr. Walter Judd, M.D. Incorrect: The average M.D. sees forty patients day. (Does not follow name)

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Abbreviations of Geographical Features

Abbreviations for geographical terms before or after a proper noun begin with a capital letter and end with a period. Abbreviations for geographical terms are used only in addresses, lists, charts, and maps. They should be spelled out in standard and formal writing. Common geographical abbreviations: Ave. Is. Prov. Apt. L. (Lake) RR. or R.R.

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State and Province Abbreviations

Traditional abbreviations for states and provinces begin with a capital letter and end with a period. Except for the abbreviation D.C. when it follows Washington, which may be used at any time, use the abbreviations for states and provinces only in lists, maps, charts, addresses, and informal writing. Avoid abbreviations for states, provinces, and countries

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