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.In everyday English, there are both spoken and written abbreviations, to make messages quicker and perhaps more lively.
“A.S.A.P.” or “A-sap” is a common spoken business expression for “as soon as possible”. “Please let me know, A.S.A.P.”.
I.O.U. is the well-known shorthand for “I owe you” – a note, when you borrow money from somebody, e.g. I.O.U. £20 (I owe you £20).
It all goes back to the times of telegrams. The telegram service was a quick message service with payment for each word, so “I shall meet you at 6 p.m. at the town hall.” was abbreviated to “Meet 6 town hall.”.
Text messages are now an easy way to send messages. There is a need to keep messages brief, rather than prolong a tedious keying. There is a fun side to it – finding ways to abbreviate words and get the message across.
There are different ways of abbreviating:
- Initial letters, e.g. B.B.C. (British Broadcasting Corporation).
- Dropping letters, e.g. txt (n.) (v.). text.
- Part of a word or words, e.g. The Met (The Metropolitan Police Service).
- Finding a letter or number that sounds like a word or a syllable, e.g. u,r, 8,w8, l8, gr8, ( you, are, -ate, wait, late, great).
- Initial letters of well-known phrases, e.g. lol, brb, tyvm, (laugh out loud, be right back, thank you very much).
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