How To Abbreviate a Word

Word Abbreviations Done Right

Abbreviating words helps students take notes quickly, recording the full meaning of a lecture. But abbreviations can get confusing, if you use idiosyncratic abbreviation methods or you can’t remember what one abbreviation means. To help you develop your own abbreviation style and learn what the conventional abbreviations for abbreviated words are, HowToGuides365 offers “How To Abbreviate a Word”.

Write the Beginning of a Long Word

Long words are prime candidates to be abbreviated, such as “inc” for “incorporated”, “fem” for “feminine” or “hippo” for “hippopotamus”. When you abbreviate a long word by simply writing the first syllable, remember to have only one word associated with each syllable, to avoid later confusion.

Leaving Out the Vowels

Some abbreviations simply take out all vowels, so the reader can puzzle out the word somewhat phonetically. Words like “mountain” would be abbreviated as “mntn”, while “quality” would come out “qlty” and quantity would be “qnty”. Sometimes, words would take out some consonants, if it makes the abbreviation easier to figure out. For instance, while I’ve seens “points” abbreviated to “pnts”, it’s more likely to see the word abbreviated as “pts”.

When using this kind of abbreviation, you might have a modified form for words that start with a vowel. For instance, the abbreviation for “abbreviation” would be “abbrvtn”, to make it easier to puzzle out what the abbreviation stands for.

First and Last Letter Abbreviations

One-syllable words will often be abbreviated by combining only the first and last letter of that word. “Girl” might come out as “gl”, while “round” might be “rd”. One-syllable words are abbreviated less often, though, since the idea of abbreviation is to make words shorter and most 1-syllable words are short, anyway.

Recognizing the Complete Word

Remember, the most important point when abbreviating words is to be able to later recognize what word you meant when you wrote the abbreviation. So devise abbreviations with this in mind. You must be able to quickly recognize whatever word the abbreviation stands for, or you lose time and clarity trying to fight through your own shorthand notes.

Look up a chart of common abbreviations to learn how others use abbreviations, because there are accepted, standard methods of abbreviations that have been shown to work in the past.

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