The Abbreviation reference article from the Simple Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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An abbreviation is a shorter way to write a word or phrase. People use abbreviations for words that they write a lot. The English language often uses the apostrophe mark ' to show that a word is written in a shorter way, but some abbreviations do not use this mark. Some abbreviations use the period mark, especially the ones that come from the Latin language.

Some examples of common English abbreviations are "don't" for "do not", "shouldn't" for "should not", "etc." for "et cetera".

Some new abbreviations have been created by scientists, by workers in companies and governments, and by people using the Internet.

Here are a few examples: The word "radar" is an abbreviation for "Radio Detection and Ranging". The name of the large computer company IBM comes from the words "International Business Machines". The name of the part of the United States government that sends rockets into outer space is NASA, from the words "National Aeronautics and Space Administration". When people using the Internet think that something is very funny, they sometimes write "LOL" to mean "Laughing Out Loud". People sometimes write "ASAP" for "As Soon As Possible".