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Abbreviations

 

In General 

The abbreviations "i.e." (that is) and "e.g." (for example) are generally spelled out. Where they are used (e.g., in tables and figures), they are followed by a comma.
Note: In McGill, "e.g." is used without a preceding or trailing comma in the phrase "See e.g. [source]."

Other Latin abbreviations, such as "cf" (compare) and "ca." (about), are followed by a space.

Capital-letter abbreviations and postal abbreviations contain no periods.

OECD
SCR
US
McLachlin CJ, Bowman J
R v Smith, Smith v MNR
AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NU, NT, ON, PE, QC, SK, YK (neutral), YT (bibliographic)
CA, DC, FL, NY

Periods are retained in abbreviations that combine upper- and lowercase letters.
Periods are omitted in texts that follow McGill.

Mr., Mrs., Ms., Messrs.
Dr., Drs.

Exception: AcSB (Accounting Standards Board), PhD

First Use of Abbreviations 

  1. Note the first use of an abbreviation in parentheses following the full term or name.
  2. If the full term or name is itself in a parenthetical statement, note the abbreviation in brackets.
  3. Recast to avoid using the full term or name in possessive form. (See the Chicago Q&A on abbreviations.)
1. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in 2013.
2. (The Supreme Court of Canada [SCC] released its decision in 2013.)
3a. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada's (SCC) decision was released in 2013.
3b. The Supreme Court of Canada's (SCC) decision was released in 2013.

Indefinite Articles with Abbreviations 

To decide whether to use "a" or "an" with an abbreviation:

  1. Determine whether the abbreviation is pronounced as a word or as a series of letters.
  2. Use "a" if the abbreviation begins with a consonant sound and "an" if it begins with a vowel sound.
a MADD campaign
an MBA

Common Abbreviations 

For common abbreviations, see the Spelling Guide and the Appendix: Canadian and US Abbreviations, Common Court Abbreviations, and Degrees and Titles.