Concise Check your writing to make sure it is "to the point" -- that you are saying only what needs to be said, without digressions and extraneous information. Avoid convoluted and lengthy sentences with multiple clauses. If you are presenting the findings of a research project with a large amount of data, organize this data in a table.
History[ edit ] Abbreviated writing, using sigla, arose partly from the limitations of the workable nature of the materials stonemetalparchmentetc. Thus, lapidariesengraversand copyists made the most of the available writing space. Scribal abbreviations were infrequent when writing materials were plentiful, but by the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, writing materials were scarce and costly.
Additionally, in this period shorthand entered general usage. The earliest known Western shorthand system was that employed by the Greek historian Xenophon in the memoir of Socratesand it was called notae socratae.
The notation was akin to modern stenographic writing systems. It used symbols for whole words or word roots and grammatical modifier marks, and it avoid you in formal writing abbreviations be used to write either whole passages in shorthand or only certain words. In medieval times, the symbols to represent words were widely used; and the initial symbols, as few as according to some sources, were increased to 14, by the Carolingianswho used them in conjunction with other abbreviations.
However, the alphabet notation had a "murky existence" C. Burnettas it was often associated with witchcraft and magic, and it was eventually forgotten. Interest in it was rekindled by the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket in the 12th century and later in the 15th century, when it was rediscovered by Johannes Trithemiusabbot of the Benedictine abbey of Sponheim, in a psalm written entirely in Tironian shorthand and a Ciceronian lexicon, which was discovered in a Benedictine monastery notae benenses.
Sigla were mostly used in lapidary inscriptions; in some places and historical periods such as medieval Spain scribal abbreviations were overused to the extent that some are indecipherable.
Forms[ edit ] The abbreviations were not constant but changed from region to region. Scribal abbreviations increased in usage and reached their height in the Carolingian Renaissance 8th to 10th centuries. The most common abbreviations, called notae communes, were used across most of Europe, but others appeared in certain regions.
In legal documents, legal abbreviations, called notae juris, appear but also capricious abbreviations, which scribes manufactured ad hoc to avoid repeating names and places in a given document.
Latin abbreviations of praedicatorum, quoque, conversis, and quorum. In epigraphycommon abbreviations were comprehended in two observed classes: The abbreviation of a word to its initial letter; The abbreviation of a word to its first consecutive letters or to several letters, from throughout the word.
Both forms of abbreviation are called "suspensions" as the scribe suspends the writing of the word. A separate form of abbreviation is by "contraction" and was mostly a Christian usage for sacred words, Nomina Sacra ; non-Christian sigla usage usually limited the number of letters the abbreviation comprised and omitted no intermediate letter.
One practice was rendering an overused, formulaic phrase only as a siglum: According to Trabe, these abbreviations are not really meant to lighten the burden of the scribe but rather to shroud in reverent obscurity the holiest words of the Christian religion.
Still, when occasion required referring to three or four persons, the complex doubling of the final consonant yielded to the simple plural siglum.
To that effect, a vinculum overbar above a letter or a letter-set also was so used, becoming a universal medieval typographic usage. Besides the tilde and macron marks, above and below letters, modifying cross-bars and extended strokes were employed as scribal abbreviation marks, mostly for prefixes and verb, noun and adjective suffixes.
The typographic abbreviations should not be confused with the phrasal abbreviations: Moreover, besides scribal abbreviations, ancient texts also contained variant typographic characters, including ligatures e.
The "u" and "v" characters originated as scribal variants for their respective letters, likewise the "i" and "j" pair.
Modern publishers printing Latin-language works replace variant typography and sigla with full-form Latin spellings; the convention of using "u" and "i" for vowels and "v" and "j" for consonants is a late typographic development.
Since the establishment of movable-type printing in the 15th century, founders have created many such ligatures for each set of record type font to communicate much information with fewer symbols. Moreover, during the Renaissance 14th to 17th centurieswhen Ancient Greek language manuscripts introduced that tongue to Western Europeits scribal abbreviations were converted to ligatures in imitation of the Latin scribal writing to which readers were accustomed.
Later, in the 16th century, when the culture of publishing included Europe's vernacular languages, Graeco-Roman scribal abbreviations disappeared, an ideologic deletion ascribed to the anti- Latinist Protestant Reformation — Church Slavonic[ edit ] Sigla frequently used in contemporary Church Slavonic After the invention of printing, manuscript copying abbreviations continued to be employed in Church Slavonic and are still in use in printed books as well as on icons and inscriptions.
Many common long roots and nouns describing sacred persons are abbreviated and written under the special diacritic symbol titloas shown in the figure at the right.
That corresponds to the Nomina sacra Latin: Quite rarely, abbreviations did not carry marks to indicate that an abbreviation has occurred: It should be noted that the original manuscripts were not written in a modern sans-serif or serif font but in Roman capitals, rustic, uncial, insular, Carolingian or blackletter styles.
For more, refer to Western calligraphy or a beginner's guide. Cappelli divides abbreviations into six overlapping categories: General indicating there has been an abbreviation but not how.
The marks are placed above or across the ascender of the letters. The final three of the series are knot-like and are used in papal or regal documents. Specific indicating that a truncation has occurred. The third case is a stylistic alternative found in several fonts, here Andron Unicode chart extended D.English Grammar.
Why is grammar important? As Jasper Fforde put it, “Ill-fitting grammar are like ill-fitting shoes. You can get used to it for a bit, but then one day your toes fall off and you . Punctuation Hyphenation Italics andBold Fonts andSymbols Abbreviationsand Acronyms Headings,Paragraph Styles, and Lists Numbers andStatistics Tables Figures Use ofWords Grammar Flow ofIdeas Style for CitedPublications References.
In this article I provide guidelines for writing in scientific style, starting with the detail of punctuation and working up through to the whole document. You would be wise to try to avoid this urge, particularly if you don’t understand the meaning of a certain word.
Using overly formal language, in every day situations, has the potential to make your writing read like you are pompous or pretentious. Despite the popularity of texting and social media, email remains the most common form of written communication in the business world — and the most commonly abused.
Too often email messages snap, growl, and bark — as if being concise meant that you had to sound bossy. Not so. On the formal end of the spectrum, you have the scholarly writing you do for classroom assignments, theses and dissertations, and publications.
Contractions are a part of informal writing. Thus, avoid contractions in scholarly writing, except for under the following circumstances.
by Chelsea Lee. Asking whether you should use contractions in formal academic writing is sort of like asking whether you should wear a .