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The Period (#10), by Dennis Oliver

The Period (#10):
Other Abbreviations
 

One very common and important punctuation mark
( . ) looks like a small, dark circle. When this mark is
used with numbers, it's called a point. When it's used
in e-mail and WWW addresses, it's called a dot. In
other situations, it's called a period.

In American English, one common use for the period
is in abbreviations. Here are various other abbreviations
which are commonly used:

 

amt.  

amount

Example:

What you owe is indicated after
"amt. due."

     
ASAP  

as soon as possible

This abbreviation is used without periods.

Example:

Please see me ASAP.

     
approx.  

approximately; about

This abbreviation is used when giving
information that is not exact.

Example:

time: approx. 4 - 6 PM

cost: approx. $2,500.00

     
bal.  

balance

Example:

Your payment of $125 was credited.
For the amount remaining to be paid,
see "bal. due."

     
COD  

cash on delivery

This abbreviation (which is used without
periods) indicates that payment for an
item that was ordered by mail will be
made when the item is delivered.

Example:

Merchandise is sent COD and includes
delivery charges.

     
ETA  

estimated time of arrival

Airlines, bus companies, and railroads
commonly use this abbreviation (also
without periods) to report on when
a particular flight, bus, or train is expected.

Example:

Flight 265 to London left on schedule.
Its ETA is 4:45, London time.

     
ID  

identification (documentation which
can be used to verify your identity)

Example:

If you wish to cash a check, you'll need
two forms of ID.

     
IOU  

I owe you.

This abbreviation is used informally
(and without periods) to indicate the
intention to repay a debt.

Example:

Could you lend me fifty dollars?
I'll be happy to give you an IOU and
to pay you back within two weeks.

     
IQ  

intelligence quotient

This abbreviation (no period) is used to
refer to relative degrees of intelligence.
"Normal" or "average" intelligence is
100, so an IQ of 120 is above average
and an IQ of 80 is below average.

Example:

Einstein's adult IQ was estimated to be
just above 160.

     
Jr.  

junior

This abbreviation is used when a man
and his son have the same name. In this
situation, the father uses the name alone
or the name plus Sr. (senior) and the son
uses the name plus Jr. (junior).

Example:

Which John S. Thompson are you
trying to contact? Do you wish to
speak with John S. Thompson, Sr. or
John S. Thompson, Jr.?

     
mo.  

month, monthly

Example:

This apartment rents for $600 / mo.
($600 per month / $600 monthly).

     
NA,
N/A
 

not applicable

This abbreviation is used to show that
information requested on a form does
not apply to a person or situation.

Example:

If you check "single" for marital status,
don't write anything for "spouse's name."
Instead, write "NA."

     
no.  

number

Example:

Her favorite perfume is Chanel No. 5.

     
pd.  

paid

Example:

Of course you received my check!
This receipt says "pd. 10/27/00."

     
RSVP  

répondez s'il vous plaît (French for
"Please answer.")

This abbreviation (no period) is often
seen on invitations. It indicates that
the person receiving the invitation
should contact the person sending the
invitation to say whether he / she will
accept the invitation and attend.

Example:

If you are unable to attend the reception,
please RSVP the Personnel Office by
no later than Saturday, December 16th.

     
VIP  

very important person

Example:

You can expect many reporters at the
reception because there will be many
VIPs there.

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