Refine By

Abbreviations & acronyms

Don’t confuse users: avoid acronyms and abbreviations that aren’t common and universally understood.

Never abbreviate words like “rooms” or “suites,” even if space is limited. They’re already short. Abbreviation risks rendering them unintelligible.

In body copy

On first mention, write the phrase in full, with the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses following. After that, use the short version alone.

Exceptions are made when an acronym is widely understood as a word itself, and therefore does not need to be defined: “ZIP code,” “scuba,” “NASA,” etc.

In titles, navigation, and calls to action

Space is tight in these uses, but it’s imperative to use the full word, to ease things for the user. Need more room? Find a different word or work with your team to find a more ideal solution.

Examples

  • ZIP code
  • NASA
  • SCUBA
  • JFK
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)

Notable exceptions:

  • “am” and “pm”
  • Currency
  • OK
  • Time zones
  • TV
  • The UK
  • Units of measurement
  • The US