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Language Point 130

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Helen and the cat in the kitchen with a box of chocolates
Here are some common abbreviations we use in everyday life.

Latin abbreviations

There are some abbreviations we use in English that come from Latin.

PS - post script (pronounced as individual letters - 'PS') We use this after we have signed a letter but then want to add some more information.
Alice used this abbreviation when she had finished her note to Helen and then remembered she had something else to say.
'See you later, Alice. PS Help yourself to the chocolates'

e.g. - exempli gratia which means 'for example' (pronounced as individual letters 'EG' or as two words 'for example' and it's always written in lower-case letters - e.g.)
When auxiliary verbs (e.g. is, has, will, was) are used, they normally go between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.

etc. - et cetera which means 'and other similar things' or 'and so forth' (pronounced as two words 'et cetera' and written in lower-case letters – etc.) Anyone in education – teacher, trainer, instructor, lecturer etc. – can benefit from reading this book.

Political abbreviations

All these abbreviations are pronounced as individual letters

PM – Prime Minister
The PM delivered a speech on education earlier today.

MPMember of Parliament
MPs argued that the new law would benefit poor children and their parents.

WHO –World Health Organisation
The report from the WHO says that the health crisis could be averted with simple medicines and clean water.

UN – United Nations
The UN resolution was agreed by all the major countries so the UN peacekeepers will be going into the area next week.

Computer abbreviations

Although these abbreviations originally came from computing, they are now also used outside the computing world:

FAQs – Frequently asked questions (pronounced as individual letters FAQs
) New Employees: If you have any problems, consult the FAQs on our notice board.

WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get (pronounced as one word – 'wysiwyg')
Originally used to describe an image on a computer screen that is exactly the same when it is printed on paper. Now used to mean there is nothing hidden or surprising about something you see or buy
The food here is WYSIWYG. No surprises, down to earth, tasty and cheap.

Other abbreviations

These two abbreviations are pronounced as individual letters:

EFL – English as a foreign language
Khalid is studying business at college, as well as being an EFL student at a private school.

TLC – Tender loving care
This kitten has been abandoned. She needs a good home and some TLC.

IOU – I owe you (a written promise to re-pay money that someone has loaned you)
Here's an IOU. I'll pay you back the money next week, honest.

These two abbreviations are pronounced as complete words:

DINKIES – Double income, no kids (describes two working adults in a relationship who don't have any children)
They've got plenty of money. They're DINKIES.

NIMBY – Not in my backyard (I want something to happen but don't want it to happen near me)
Everyone thinks the new airport will bring jobs here but they get all NIMBY about it when we ask where to build it.


a note
a short informal letter

holding Khalid's hand
support Khalid when he's very frightened or nervous

the drill
the electrical machine a dentist uses to put a filling into someone's tooth

(informal) delicious

stick to my New Year's resolution
keep the promises I made to myself at New Year


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