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The IBM Style Guide: Conventions for Writers and Editors by Eric Radzinski, Leslie McDonald, Amy Laird, Jana Jenkins, Peter Hayward, Francis DeRespinis

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Chapter 1. Language and grammar

Follow these guidelines to apply a clear and consistent writing style.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations include initialisms, acronyms, and shortened words. An initialism is an abbreviation that is pronounced as individual letters, for example, IBM. An acronym is an abbreviation that forms a pronounceable word, for example, NATO.

General guidelines

Use abbreviations when the following conditions are true:

• Their meanings are clear.

• They make the information easier to understand.

• They are recognized more easily than their spelled-out forms, for example, HTML.

• Space is limited, for example, in a table or detailed diagram.

Avoid abbreviations when the following conditions are true:

• Their meanings are unclear.

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