Do you still think that shortenings aren’t so important and purely informal? How about no! Let’s jump into today’s topic! Actually, one of the most common abbreviations are “Mr.” and “Mrs.” which are used almost exclusively in formal contexts. Plenty of people use abbreviations daily to make their speech more casual and save time. However, knowing some common acronyms and initialisms in English will help you better adapt to various everyday situations.
For starters, let's define the meanings of these words and find out their differences.
An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or whole phrase.
An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of a group of words and pronounced as a single word (e.g. NATO, NASA).
An initialism is an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g. BBC, FBI).
Some of the well-known abbreviations:
ASAP - as soon as possible. Because ASAP can be pronounced as a word or stated as a series of letters, it’s considered both an acronym and an initialism.
FYI - for your information. This initialism often used in both formal and informal ways.
POV - point of view. Nowadays this one mostly used in social media and indicates that something is meant to be watched as if the viewer were present or the viewer is in a specific situation.
SOS - originally SOS is a Morse code distress signal established for maritime use. The phrases "save our ship" and "save our souls" came later, through popular use outside of marine communication. Today it can be used in modern-day slang to communicate discomfort or urgency over text.
E.G. - abbreviation for “exempli gratia”: a Latin phrase that means "for example". It can be pronounced as "e.g." or "for example”.
I.E. - shortening of the Latin expression “id est”, which means “that is.” It’s used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has already been stated.
But what about something less formal? Texting is a very important part of everyday communication with friends and family. Using shortenings properly is a handy way so as to improve your fluency in chatting.
Some common abbreviations that might be useful for everyday informal text conversations (e.g. messengers, online games) with little to no explanation:
brb - be right back
omw - on my way
btw - by the way
nvm - never mind
idc - i don’t care
idk - i don’t know
rn - right now
ty - thank you
pls - please
cya - see ya
w8 - wait
b4 - before
u2 - you too
That’s all for today! Don’t be afraid to learn something new that may seem useless and boring, it actually can be useful and fun. Do you have a favourite abbreviation in English or in your own language?