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Student Learning: Grammar

Using capitals - Lesson four

  1. 4.1 Abbreviations, capitalisation and full stops:

    Unlike acronyms (which make a new word by taking letters from several words) abbreviations are simply words which have been made by removing some of the the letters from one original word. Most of us develop our own personal abbreviations as a time saving measure and likewise different fields of study develop their own accepted abbreviations. Some examples are Prof. (Professor), corp. (corporation), ed. (edition), sq. (square). In most academic writing you will use these sparingly.

Helen Clark's husband is Dr. Peter Davis. He first met Ms. Clark at university in the 1970s.

The Rt. Hon. Jim Bolger is now chancellor of the University of Waikato.

There will be a book signing by Prof. Ken Ring, founder of Predictions Are Us Ltd.

  1. 4.2 Punctuation with abbreviations - you decide:

    It was traditional practice to place a full stop after a word to show it had been abbreviated. This is still good practice and is common in US English, but in Britain and New Zealand we tend to avoid using the full stop after words which have their first and last letter in the abbreviation. For example we make Mr by taking the M and r from Mister. So, no full stop needed. Other examples are Doctor (Dr), Mistress (Mrs), Mistress (Ms), Association (Assn).

Helen Clark's husband is Dr Peter Davis. He first met Ms Clark at university in the 1970s.

There will be a book signing by Prof. Ken Ring.

The Rt Hon. Jim Bolger was also head of KiwiRail.

If you are confused about this it is safest to place a full stop behind all abbreviations.