If you are confused in using abbreviations and acronyms, then continue reading the whole post to clear up your mind.
According to AP Style, you cannot use abbreviations everywhere. There are some specific or common areas to use abbreviations and acronyms. AP Style says that an abbreviation or an acronym should be common or well-known enough to be used within sentences. Otherwise, there is no need to use such abbreviations that are not recognized publicly.
• NATO > This particular abbreviation is universally recognized abbreviation. It means that it is well-known or prominent enough to be used without spelled out first.
However, there are other abbreviations that are well-known but it is necessary to use those abbreviations on second reference. It means that you have to spell out the whole word first, then you can use an abbreviation for that word.
• FWA> It is necessary to spell out the whole word, first, as Financial Women’s Association that is the full version of FWA. After that, you can use an abbreviation for Financial Women’s Association as FWA on second reference.
So, you have to be careful in using abbreviations or acronyms. If you come across an abbreviation or acronym, search it to find out that is it a common abbreviation/acronym or not? If yes, then, should it be used on first reference or on second reference?
Some common abbreviations that you can use without any hesitation
• Mr., Mrs., Ms., Col., Gen., Maj., Rep., etc.
The above abbreviations come before a name like, Mrs. Smith, Dr. John etc.
• Ph.D., Jr., Ltd., Inc., Co., etc.
The above abbreviations come after a name like, Transport Co., Henry Clinton, Ph.D.
• You can use A.D., B.C., a.m., p.m., No. and also months (Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.) with figures. You cannot use the given abbreviated months alone or when only the year is mentioned. For example, 9:00 a.m., in 300 A.D., on Sept. 12, 2017, at Street No. 9 etc.
• You can use Ave., St., and Blvd. for numbered addresses. For example, St. No. 7, at 20 Jinnah Ave., etc.
Hence, it is clear that the abbreviations or acronyms that are not common or well-known enough to be recognized quickly should be avoided to be used within sentences.