In informal writing, abbreviations are perfectly acceptable as long as the reader understands the meaning. In formal writing, though, abbreviations are only used if absolutely necessary. Here’s a list of abbreviations which are never acceptable in formal writing:
Days of the week and months of the year
Write Sunday, not Sun.
Write April, not Apr.
Nicknames and short forms of personal names
Write Susan, not Suze (unless that it her given name)
Write William, not Wm.
Write New York City, not NYC.
Write California, not Ca.
The United States of America (or possibly America), not U.S. or U.S.A.
Units of measurement when used in a sentence
Write miles, not mi.
Write grams, not g.
Write pounds, not lbs.
Short forms of words
Write Christmas, not Xmas.
- Previous article Use Latin Abbreviations Sparingly