The Use Of Abbreviations In Articles

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The purpose of this research is to investigate what 'abbreviation' means, what types of abbreviations appear and to state how their full forms differ in various language categories. To accomplish this goal theoretical research and analysis of political articles were done. The result of the research showed that 'abbreviation' means 'reduction' and there are four types of abbreviations. The meaning of 'reductions' depend on the context and language category where it is used.

Kay words: abbreviation, type, full form.


Articles, journals, newspapers and all other sources of written mass media is one of the most popular ways of getting information about the current events. The text in articles is specific; it requires a concrete style of writing, includes a number of stylistic devices, abbreviations, grammatical patterns such as direct speech or free direct speech, idioms and others. All these devices are one of the branches of Lexicology (Linguistics). While dealing with stylistic devices or grammatical patterns they are more or less understandable for the reader. Though, when dealing with abbreviations not all the cases are easy to understand at once. Abbreviations can be used in different ways mostly for shortening long forms of the word or group of words. However, abbreviations can appear in the text as fixed proper or personal names of some organizations, or for members of some particular organizations. Abbreviations can follow the rules of their creation, although, the meaning of one and the same abbreviation can differ, depending on the language category where it is used.

Thus, following the theme of the current course which is based on the politics and law the research examples are chiefly taken from political articles.

The goal of the research is to investigate the use of abbreviations in political and governmental articles.

The enabling objectives were collected to achieve the research's goal:

To analyze articles/newspapers;

To study theory;

To define what an 'abbreviation' means;

State the types of abbreviations;

To find out the most common abbreviations used in political articles;

To provide the examples from the articles, full forms and meanings of the used abbreviations.

The research is based on a personal hypothesis, which states: the abbreviation is a wide-spread branch of Lexicology (Linguistics) that is highly used in newspaper style and articles.

The methods of the research:

Theoretical (the study and analysis of the term 'abbreviations', their types);

Practical (the analysis of political articles, the analysis of the examples).

Short outline of chapters:

The first chapter: the chapter of definitions and theory.

The second chapter: the chapter provides researched examples of abbreviations, their full forms and meanings.

Review of the Literature:

A great number of theoretical materials were touched upon. Therefore the author included a lot of useful dictionaries. All the theoretical parts were taken from the Linguistics Discourse. Most of the definitions were taken from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. In additions, a number of On-line dictionaries were reflected in the research.


What is an 'Abbreviation'

Looking to abbreviation as a branch of Linguistics, the definition will be as follows: 'Abbreviation is a shortening of a word or phrase to be used to report the full form' (World English Dictionary. 2009). To put such definition into one word it is possible to define the abbreviation as a 'reduction'. However, returning back to definitions, the common explanation for the term as abbreviation, which can be found in any useful dictionary, looks like this: 'Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase' (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. 2005). To put it shorter abbreviation is a 'reduced form'.

Types of Abbreviations

Abbreviations as such are divided into several groups or types. According to the studies of Linguistics, there are four main kinds of abbreviations:





The first type is called Shortenings. 'Shortenings of the words or phrases usually consist of the first few letters of the full forms are spelt with capital letters' (World English Dictionary. 2009). For example, MP (Members of the Parliament); FCO (First Commonwealth Fund, Inc); OMG (Operation Market-Garden); CEO (Chief Executive Officer); etc.

The second type of abbreviations is Contractions. 'Contractions are abbreviated forms in which letters from the middle of the full form have been omitted' (World English Dictionary. 2009). In other words, contractions are 'clippings' or 'cuttings'. For example, Dr = doctor; St = Saint/Street; Zoo = Zoological garden; taxi = taxicab; etc.

The next type of abbreviations is called Initialisms or 'semi-shortenings'. 'Initialisms are made up of the initial letters of the words and are pronounced as separate letters' (World English Dictionary. 2009). For example, SIR or S.I.R. (Self Insured Retention). In addition, to this particular type of abbreviations are related world know reduced forms such as etc or (etc.) which means 'et cetera' in a full form, p or pp, which stands for 'page' or 'pages' in a full form interpretation. Initailisms as previous ones can be found not only in articles, but in any kind of literature.

Finally, the fourth type of abbreviations known as Acronyms. 'Acronyms are Initialisms that have become words in their own rights, or similar words formed from parts of several words. Acronyms are pronounced as several words rather than as a series of letters, and do not have periods. In many cases the Acronyms became the standard term and the full form is only used in explanatory contexts' (World English Dictionary. 2009). For example, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

To sum up, the abbreviations mean reduction or reduced form of a word or phrase. There are four types of reduction known as Shortenings, Contractions, Initialisms and Acronyms. All these types are highly used and can be found in newspapers and magazines of different subjects.

'reductions' in use and their meanings

All the examples were taken from different articles, magazines or newspapers.

Abbreviations used in political articles:


MP - Member of Parliament (Governmental)

FT - Future Technology; Foreign Talent (US Government)

BIS - Bureau of Industry and Security (US Government)

DCMS - Department of Culture, Media and Sport (Governmental); Disaster Credit Management System (Us Government);

DWP - Deluxe Weapons Pack (Governmental>>Military)

The same Abbreviations used in articles of different categories (Economics, Culture, Computing, Community, Medicine, etc.)


MP - Media Player (Community); Military Police (Law); Market Place (Business); Melting Point (Academic and Science).

FT - Full Time (Business); Football Team (Community); Field Trip (Academic and Science).

BIS - Bank for International Settlement (Business); Bismuth (Medicine); Business Information System (Computing); Building Industry Show (Academic and Science).

DCMS - Duval Country Medical Society (Medicine); Dartmouth Community Medical School (Academic and Science); Data Collection Management System (Computing); Derivatives Collateral Management Service (Business).

DWP - Department of Water and Power (Community); Dispensing Well Plate (Academic and Science).


Plane = Airplane

Phone = Telephone

Bus = Omnibus

Ad = Advertisement

Mag. = Magistrate; Magazine


Abbreviations used in political articles:

SIA or S.I.A. - Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (Governmental)

CIA or C.I.A. - Central Intelligence Agency (Governmental)

The same Abbreviations used in different categories:


SIA or S.I.A. - Semiconductor Industry Association (Academic and Science); Securities Industry Association (Business); Special Instructional Assistance (Community).

CIA or C.I.A. - Certified Internal Auditor (Business); Caught In the Act (Law); Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (Community); Curriculum Instruction and Assessment (Academic and Science); Chemotherapy Induced Alopecia (Medicine).


NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

UN - The United Nations

EU - The European Union

Overall, all articles which were used for the research showed that a great number of abbreviations are used there. As it is seen, abbreviations are highly welcomed in newspapers style and not only one type of abbreviations but all of the four types. Almost each article which was examined has included at least one reduced form.


Summarizing all, the hypothesis was approved. The abbreviations are common feature for newspaper style and are highly used in articles. It is convenient for newspaper language to use reduced forms of the words in order to avoid the full name of the subjects which can length as the long sentence. Meanwhile the same abbreviations have different meanings due to the categories where they are used.


Abbreviation means 'reduction' or 'reduced form' of a word or phrase

There are four types of Abbreviations: Shortenings, Contractions, Initialisms, Acronyms

The meaning of Abbreviation depends on the category of language

Abbreviation is a common feature in newspapers style