abbreviations: business terms and symbols

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Terms are often abbreviated for the purpose of conserving space in routine business correspondence. The following are common abbreviations used in tables and on business forms:

  • acct. (account)
  • Assn. (Association)
  • bal. (balance)
  • bldg. (building)
  • CEO (chief executive officer)
  • cont. (continued)
  • dis. (discount)
  • dtd. (dated)
  • ea. (each)
  • fwd. (forward)
  • FY (fiscal year)
  • G.M. (general manager)
  • gr. (gross)
  • hdlg. (handling)
  • ins. (insurance)
  • Ltd. (Limited)
  • max. (maximum)
  • min. (minimum)
  • n.d. (no date)
  • oz. (ounces)
  • pd. (paid)
  • qty. (quantity)
  • recd. (received)
  • sec. (secretary)
  • treas. (treasury, treasurer)
  • V.P. (vice-president)
  • whsle. (wholesale)

The following is a list of symbols for terms used in business correspondence and in tabular and statistical material.

  • at: @
  • and: &
  • percent: %
  • dollar(s): $
  • cent(s): ¢
  • degree(s): °
  • equals: =
  • number (before a figure): #
  • pounds (after a figure): #
  • feet: ’
  • inches; ditto: "
  • paragraph: ¶
  • section: §
  • by; multiplied by: ×

Note that a space is usually required before and after the symbols @, =, & and ×:

  • Yearwood & Boyce
  • 2 shirts @ $19.95 each

Exception: No extra space is required before or after these symbols in upper-case abbreviations or in e-mail addresses.

Note also that no space is required between figures and the symbols %, ¢, #, ’ and ":

  • 10% deficit reduction
  • nearly 75¢ a pound
  • 43# per bag
  • 159’ × 259’ deck

Do not leave any space after the symbols $, #, ¶, § when they precede a figure:

  • less than $278
  • as mentioned in ¶21
  • package #3412
  • Refer to §1.28.

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