Expansion of abbreviation

Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase used chiefly in writing to represent the complete form. The word originates from the Latin word “brevis” which means “short”.

Abbreviations have a long history. They may be nearly as old as writing. Abbreviations are used so that spelling out a whole word could be avoided. This might be done to save time and space, and also to provide secrecy. The cost of materials like parchment, paper and ink was another major impetus to shorten words and phrases. Even with the invention of the printing press, cost remained important, and printers looked for ways to save space without diluting the message.

Knowledge of abbreviations enriches one’s vocabulary and enhances the written and oral communication skills of a person. An abbreviation can be pronounced letter by letter, like BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), LED (Light Emitting Diode), etc. Many abbreviations or phrases, however, are pronounced as words, for example, BITS (Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences).

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