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.

These are our prices & packages.

Don’t use “&” in long-form copy.

Pricing & Packaging

Do use “&” in headlines with multiple nouns.

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.

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.

Last Updated: 20 May 2020 at 1:12pm CDT