Current Abbreviations

Current Abbreviations

Current Abbreviations

Current Abbreviations


The American people are in the midst of an era of abbreviations. Much of the English used both in speaking and in writing clips off so much of the essential forms of words or of sentence structure that it becomes almost unintelligible. Teachers and students of chemistry, and chemists have long used an abbreviated language; for example, they do not speak of water, but of H O, or of Sulphuric Acid, but of H SO . Today, however, one finds newspapers, magazines, business or trade journals, governmental agencies and bureaus, and people in general conversation using an abbreviated language almost as technical as chemical formulas. People in various trades and occupations are continually adding new combinations for brevity. They speed the day's work for the initiated, but for others they may cause hopeless confusion.

This publication lists the abbreviated forms of the names of governmental bureaus and administrative agencies; civil, political, and religious organizations; symbols for Greek letter fraternities and sororities; abbreviations of college degrees; usual commercial terms; the more common musical terms; and those of other well-known expressions. In music, medicine, science, and other fields of learning where there are special technical glossaries and dictionaries, only the more generally known and used terms are included her.

According to the English spelling of their Greek initials, the national Greek letter fraternities and sororities are alphabeted at the end of the regular list of abbreviations under the various letters of the alphabet.

There is a noticeable tendency to write abbreviations with small letters, and many of the initials are written with lower case and with capital letters, often with a different meaning for each. It will be noted that in army usage both terms and abbreviations for them are capitalized, and no period is used after the abbreviated form.

Where a word is abbreviated in more than one way, all the ways are given each time one of them appears in its proper alphabetical order. This is true also of the Latin, French, German, and abbreviations in other languages which are included in this book.

In print, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is B.P.O.E.; Free and Accepted Masons is F.A.M. or F. & A.M.; absent without leave is a.w.o.l; Government Issue is G.I.; and there are hundreds of other initial forms. People often do not know what this abbreviated language means. It was to provide this needed information that the author compiled this dictionary.

The letters c and o may be combined to read CO., or C.O., co., c.o., C/O or c/o. There are about twenty-one definitions of the c and o combinations.

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