Contractions and truncations are generally used in headers, footnotes, endnotes, tables and text boxes. For a list of the contractions, truncations and initialisms that are most commonly used in formal language, see Appendix 1: Common contractions, truncations and initialisms.

If you are unsure of whether you need to use points, remember the following cases.

  • Truncated forms as codes or symbolsTruncated forms used as codes or symbols do not take points.
    Small_OK EN (English)
    Small_OK kg (kilogram)
  • Full words or contractions in LatinCertain Latin forms do not take a point because they are full words. Likewise, full words within Latin phrases do not require a point.
    Small_OK sic
    Small_OK et al.

    The Latin form numero is abbreviated to no. to avoid confusion.

  • Abbreviating people’s namesAbbreviate people’s first names with a single letter only, followed by a point and a space.
    Philippe Junot P. Junot
    Theodore Roosevelt T. Roosevelt

    Write multiple initials with points and spaces.

    Elwyn Brooks White E. B. White

    Represent compound first names by both initials.

    Joan Manuel Serrat J. M. Serrat
    Jean-Paul Sartre J.-P. Sartre
  • Lower-case truncationsNote that some common truncations are never written in upper case, even at the beginning of a footnote.
    Small_OK c. (circa)
    Small_OK e.g. (’for example’)
    Small_OK i.e. (’that is’)
    Small_OK l., ll. (line, lines)
    Small_OK p., pp. (page, pages)
  • Use of ArticleNote that the word Article may be abbreviated to Art. in footnotes or tables, but should not be abbreviated in running text.
  • Use of etc.Only use etc. at the end of a series of examples and never at the end of a series introduced by the words like, for example or such as.

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