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denotes noon, but there is sufficient confusion over these uses to make it advisable to use 12 noon and 12 midnight where clarity is required.

“The Oxford English Dictionary List of Abbreviations.” (n.d.) Found 21 December 2005.

we leave the little words like determiners and prepositions out. Do not use commas with ZIP codes (Lancaster, PA 17601 and not Lancaster, PA, 17601). This is both a legal and a resource issue, and many firms have a Records Help Desk and/or a Records Management Manual.

However, earlier we saw that the Department of Defense calls itself the DOD…among other things. Is it correct to use the ZIP code in the body of a text as the state’s abbreviation? In general prose, do not substitute the ZIP for the abbreviation. In the inside address and on the envelop: Lancaster, PA 17601. The MLA Style Manual, on the other hand, leaves out the periods (269 ff). (Back) Glossaries and live links: In long documents, even when you define an acronym or abbreviation at first use, it can be difficult to find the sentence in which the term was spelled out, and readers are likely to become frustrated trying to go back and find the identifying sentence several pages (or chapters) later.

The first time you use an abbreviation, initialism, or acronym, spell it out and present the short version in parenthesis: The Greater Reno Water Authority (GRWA) calls for the use of native desert plants in all yards and gardens. ( — that it indicates a possessive and should not be used in a plural like this. In practice, I tend to stay out of the way when the big kids fight about things that I’m not terribly invested in.

In general, use abbreviations in charts, tables, graphs, footnotes, bibliographies, and other places where space is at a premium. are likely to think you mean the word ‘am’ and misread, or at least have to pause to see what it is you really mean. means “after noon,” use no other expression of time of day with them. Here is a place where it’s useful to have a copy of your discipline’s style book. If I pick a style-sheet and stick with it, at least my choice is defensible should anybody take issue with it.

An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components in a phrase or a word, usually individual letters (as in NATO or laser) and sometimes syllables (as in Benelux).

There are no universal standards of the multiple names for such abbreviations and of their orthographic styling.

believe that acronyms can be differentiated from other abbreviations in being pronounceable as words.

Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction because writers in general do not. Initialism, an older word than acronym, seems to be too little known to the general public to serve as the customary term standing in contrast with acronym in a narrow sense." About the use of acronym to only mean those pronounced as words, Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd ed.) states: "The limitations of the term being not widely known to the general public, acronym is also often applied to abbreviations that are familiar but are not pronounceable as words. Such terms are also called initialisms." A clearer distinction has also been drawn, by Pyles & Algeo (1970), who divided acronyms as a general category into word acronyms pronounced as words, and initialisms sounded out as letters.

There is no special term for abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and words or word-like pronunciations of strings of letters, such as JPEG .

There is also some disagreement as to what to call abbreviations that some speakers pronounce as letters and others pronounce as a word.

For example, the terms URL and IRA can be pronounced as individual letters: Acronymy, like retronymy, is a linguistic process that has existed throughout history but for which there was little to no naming, conscious attention, or systematic analysis until relatively recent times. The use of Latin and Neo-Latin terms in vernaculars has been pan-European and predates modern English.

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to access and record patient information should be asked to sign employee confidentiality agreements in which they agree to safeguard patient information, take responsibility for its protection and face sanctions if it is compromised.