Attn: everyone. Re: business writing. In this lesson we will look at common abbreviations and acronyms used in emails, memos, and other types of business writing. If you work in an office or want to be involved in business at any level in the future, this lesson is for you. As is SOP (standard operating procedure), we will also quiz you at the end to test your understanding. http://www.engvid.com/17-business-abbreviations-acronyms/
Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. In today’s lesson we’re going to look at a bit of business writing, and more specifically, we’re going to look at abbreviations and acronyms. But before I even start, I want you to understand that a lot of what you’re going to see today applies in many situations outside of business, but I’ll explain those when we get to them.
So, first of all: What’s the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym? An “abbreviation” is a shortening of a word. Okay? It’s one word that we cut out a bunch of letters and we make it shorter. So, for example, the abbreviation of the word “abbreviation” is “abbr.” Okay? “Acronyms”, on the other hand, are basically initials. Initials means the first letter of each word. And initials we usually use with people’s names, like John Smith, his initials are JS. But when we want to take a bunch of words and we don’t want to write all these words, we just want to make something short, but it has to be understood by basically whoever is going to read it, then we’re going to use acronyms. Okay?
So, let’s start with the abbreviations, and in terms of business. Now, especially when we’re writing, either a letter by hand like on paper or an email, these are very common. “Attn:” means: Who are you writing to? So, “attention”. Whose attention are you trying to get with this letter? “Re:” means “regarding”, means: About what? Now, a lot of people might think that “re:” in an email means “reply”, it doesn’t. “Re:” in an email or a letter always means “regarding”. What is the topic of the conversation? So, you know in the email bar it has “re:”, what are you talking about when you reply to somebody? The topic. Okay?
Next, when we end our letter, we should say who we are and what our position is in the company. So, whether you’re the Assistant or the Director, you can write: “Asst.”, “Dir.” or “Director”, or Manager: “Mgr.” Notice that all three of them have a capital. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re using the full word or an abbreviation, you still have to capitalize the title of a position, or the title of the person’s place in the company. Okay? So, if you’re the Assistant Director, you write: “Asst. Dir.”
Now, you’re wondering why there’s no dot here, and there is a dot there. There’s a few ways to figure out which one to use, yes or no on the dot. Firstly, the more you read and the more you engage in this sort of writing, you will just see: What is the most common approach? But another way is a style guide. You can use The Chicago Manual of Style, that’s the most common one for general purposes. Or if your company has its own style guide or a style sheet, look at it to see if they want a dot or they don’t want the dot. It’s really a personal choice of the company’s. Okay?
So, now, the main thing we have to consider is when we’re writing something from the company, we’re writing it on company stationery. So, the company has pages with a letterhead. It means all the information is already at the top; the name, the logo, the address, etc. So, all of this stuff might already be included, for example: which department, which building you’re in, for example, in the address. We always like to take shortcuts, and we don’t want to write everything. Write it short. “dept.” is enough. Everybody knows “dept.” means department. Building is building: “bldg.” because we just want to shorten everything. The less, the better. When you end it, you’re writing your name, and underneath: Who are you? Like, okay, I know your name, but who are you in terms of the company? So, you’re writing your position. Now, you can see all this stuff on business cards, letterheads, etc.
So, next, let’s look at acronyms. So, if you watched Rebecca’s lesson on business acronyms, you heard about Chief Executive Officer, “CEO”, this is the boss of the company, he runs or she runs the whole company. Everybody answers to him or her. So, “CO” basically means Chief Officer, “Executive” means of the whole company, but then you have different departments or different areas of the company. “CFO”, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer, and then there’s many other ones that you can use.
So, now we’re going to look at some more acronyms. One thing to remember: Acronyms always use capital letters. Even if you don’t need capitals in the extended version, the acronym will always be capital letters. “ETA”, estimated time of arrival.