One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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:
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:
- You do not need to use a full stop unless the shortening is one created specifically for use in writing, for example:
Back to abbreviations.
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