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abbreviation,

in writing, arbitrary shortening of a word, usually by cutting off letters from the end, as in U.S. and Gen. (General). Contraction serves the same purpose but is understood strictly to be the shortening of a word by cutting out letters in the middle, the omission sometimes being indicated by an apostrophe, as in the word don't. Most abbreviations are followed by a period. Usage, however, differs widely, and recently omission of periods has become common, as in NATO and UN. Acronyms are combinations of the first letters/syllables in a group of words to form a new grouping of letters that can be pronounced as a word. A period is never used when apostrophes appear. A list of abbreviationsused in this encyclopedia may be found in the prefatory matter.
References in periodicals archive ?
Using the Bluebook, you would abbreviate words according to Table 8, at 307-08, but you would also omit articles and prepositions, unless doing so causes confusion.
The Bluebook does not abbreviate words in the title.
The ALWD Manual abbreviates words, but does not omit articles and prepositions.