abbreviations: capitals and hyphens

In general, an abbreviation is capitalized or hyphenated if the unabbreviated word or words are so treated:

  • Lt.-Gov. (Lieutenant-Governor)
  • MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly)
  • UBC (University of British Columbia)

However, an abbreviation is also capitalized when it is made up of letters that are all (or mostly all) part of a single word, even though the full term is not capitalized:

  • ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone)
  • DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
  • ESP (extrasensory perception)
  • TV (television)

For rules governing the capitalization of acronyms and initialisms, see abbreviations: acronyms and initialisms.

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