Do you have trouble remembering the rules of abbreviation? Maybe this rhyme will help you remember!
Abbreviations keep it short–
Like “l” is litre and quart is “qt.”
In articles and stories, use the shorter form
For words like Ms and Mr., because they are the norm.
But for short forms not well known, starting with long form is the best;
Add the short form in (parentheses) … then use short form for the rest.
Feel free to use the short form in writing technical–
Tables, graphs and charts—so they don’t get too full.
Use abbreviations for titles or address:
Mr., Mrs., Dr., Ms; Pte., Gen., and the rest.
Some abbreviations are just casual shortened terms
Like ad, fridge, phone and memo; cello, photo, math and perms.
Use days and months in short form in calendars and notes,
In tables and citations, but not in prose and quotes.
Postal abbreviations are now in format standard;
Two letters are the limit—with no period—not hard!
No periods for metric … cm, g and ml …
But Imperial still needs that dot; it’s lb., in. and ft. still.
For time, periods don’t matter; consistency is the key:
Sec., min., wk., or mo. – or yr, AD, BC.
With degrees of temperature, whether F. or C.,
Don’t forget the period in matters of degree.
In technology and science, periods are almost zero,
But capitals are iffy—ppm, mph, but UFO.
Social media’s the new thing, with abbreviations clever:
B4, BTW, cre8, and LOL, wtvr.
If you use the Latin “i.e.” remember it means “in essence,”
While “e.g.” means “example given;” it’s all just common sense.
When you change short forms to plural, usually you just add an “s,”
But metric symbols stay the same; use apostrophe if ambiguous.
See? Abbr. R so EZ, there R just a few sm. rules,
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by Norma J Hill aka penandpapermama
(This silly but hopefully useful rhyme was concocted by yours truly. While I’m willing to have you share it, please be kind enough to give credit where it’s due. A link to this page https://normajhill.com/2017/03/31/abbreviations-poetical/ and my name at the end of the rhyme would be a good start. Thanks!)