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Abbreviations in Names of Businesses

Abbreviations in business names begin with a capital letter and end with a period except for the ampersand (&). In formal writing, write out the full name of the business. The legal abbreviations Inc. and Ltd. may be abbreviated.

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Acronyms and Pronounced Abbreviations

Use all capitals and no periods to abbreviate names and titles when the abbreviations are pronounced letter by letter. Examples: NFL NEA AFL-CIO CBS IRS IRA TV Use all capitals and no periods for acronyms. Acronyms are abbreviations which have been made into pronounced words. Examples: OPEC NAFTA NATO BASIC SCUBA Using abbreviations such as

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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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