When a state name appears in the body of a text, spell it out. When the name of a city and state are used together, the name of the state should be abbreviated (except for Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah).
There are two ways to abbreviate a state name: the postal service abbreviation (two capital letters with no punctuation), and what AP Style recommends. AP Style can seem a bit inconsistent — for example, Nebraska is shortened to “Neb.” instead of “NE,” and New Mexico is “N.M.” instead of “NM.” The full list is on Wikipedia—be sure you’re looking at the “AP” column.
If you’re writing UI copy, use postal abbreviations to save space. For everything else, follow AP Style.
Most of the time, country names should be fully spelled out. The exceptions are when there’s a commonly accepted abbreviation, such as “U.S.” for the United States, or “U.K.” for the United Kingdom. Make sure your audience will understand the reference, and don’t forget to preface the abbreviation with “the.”
When it comes to addresses that include a street number, abbreviate avenue (Ave.), boulevard (Blvd.), street (St.) and directional parts of street names. Otherwise, write out all generic parts of street names (avenue, north, road). For more rules on formatting addresses — including how to write addresses in our product—check this page.
In UI copy, always display “versus” as “vs” without a period.
In long-form writing, like in marketing materials or support articles, you can spell out the entire word or abbreviate to “vs.” with a period.
We never use just “v” to represent “versus.”
This one’s easy — only use “&” in navigational labels, title case headlines, or the official name of a company or product.
A common case for abbreviation is Division I (or II or III, you get the picture). When space is tight, you can shorten to “DI” or “Div. I”. If you’re writing UI copy, you can even lose the period: “Div I”. No matter which you choose, always use roman numerals.
Mainstream stat or play type abbreviations are also acceptable to use when you’re short on space. We use a lot of these in our product, including:
- Points: PTS
- Average points per game: PPG
- Field goal: FG
- Kickoff: KO
- Touchdown: TD
- Yards: YDS
Conference names can also be shortened, in accordance with how the conference abbreviates itself. Here’s a few examples:
- Atlantic Coast Conference: ACC
- Big 12 Conference: “Big 12” (not Big XII)
- Big Ten Conference: “Big Ten” (not Big 10 or B1G)
- Pacific-12 Conference: “Pac-12”
- Southeastern Conference: “SEC”
Though we don’t want our voice to be pretentious, these Latin abbreviations are occasionally the most concise way to convey our message. E.g. and i.e. are both used to add details, but they’re not interchangeable.
The easiest way to remember the difference is to learn their meaning. E.g. means “for example” and i.e. means “in other words.” When wondering which to use, just substitute the meaning of each abbreviation into your sentence to see which makes more sense.
- I like movies based on comic books (e.g., Ironman, Captain America, Batman, etc).
- I like movies based on comic books (i.e., action movies).
Whichever abbreviation you use, a comma always follows it.
For editorial and product content with space concerns, high school can be shortened to “HS”. Grades can also be abbreviated for player descriptions (leave off the period for product copy):
- Freshman: “Fr.”
- Sophomore: “So.”
- Junior: “Jr.”
- Senior: “Sr.”