St. or St (Saint)

English translation: St (for the UK)

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:St. or St (Saint)
English translation:St (for the UK)
Entered by: María José Iglesias

16:34 Jan 14, 2009
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Linguistics
English term or phrase: St. or St (Saint)
Could you please help me to understand if after the word "Saint" shortened "St" there is a point or not? That is: "St." or "St" (for ex.: St. John Lateran or St John Lateran).
I believe there is a rule saying that if the last letter of the abbreviation is also the last of the entire word, there is no need of the full stop.
Is that right?
Thank you!
María José Iglesias
Italy
Local time: 20:28
St for the Brits
Explanation:
Yes, that's the convention in British English, but I believe the Americans don't follow it. To give another example, Brits would write Prof. but Dr - unless Dr came at the end of a sentence, of course. Generally, American English seems to use more full stops than UK English (U.S.A. cf USA).

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Note added at 31 mins (2009-01-14 17:05:32 GMT)
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Jack must have led a sheltered life ;) because even Wikipedia says:
In British English, abbreviations of titles often omit a full stop, as in Mr, Dr, Prof, which in American English would be given as Mr., Dr., Prof. The rule "If the abbreviation includes both the first and last letter of the abbreviated word, as in mister and doctor, a full stop is not used." is sometimes given,[3] though this does not include Professor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_stop
(the footnote ref. 3 refers to Oxford A–Z of Grammar and Punctuation by John Seely)

Or:
http://www.informatics.sussex.ac.uk/department/docs/punctuat...
Note carefully the use of full stops in these abbreviations. British usage favours omitting the full stop in abbreviations which include the first and last letters of a single word, such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr and St; American usage prefers (A) Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. and St., with full stops. Most other abbreviated titles, however, require a full stop, as shown above.
Selected response from:

MoiraB
France
Local time: 20:28
Grading comment
Thank you very much at all and for the reference too. Bye!

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +7I always knew it with a '.'
jccantrell
4 +3St for the Brits
MoiraB
4Without the full stop my reccomendation
Shai Navé
Summary of reference entries provided
Oxford says...
Tony M
Further to Tony's posting
Ken Cox

  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
st. or st (saint)
I always knew it with a '.'


Explanation:
Have never heard of the rule you mention. Maybe the Brits have it, but in the US, I would use the '.'

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 11:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 31

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  EdithK: if one is not too sloppy, then yes
2 mins

agree  Jack Doughty: The Brits don't have any such rule either; I've never heard of it anyway.
3 mins

agree  Adsion
16 mins

agree  Melanie Nassar: I've heard this rule as an explanation for why you often (always?) see Mr and Mrs in UK-EN, but in the US at least, you need the *.* for St./Mr./Mrs./Dr.
21 mins

agree  NancyLynn: I teach at St. Lawrence College in Canada (College Saint-Laurent in French)
24 mins

agree  Taña Dalglish: Never heard the rule either. The rule I know is once abbreviated, it requires *.*; BTW, I have always used Mr*.* & Mrs*.* (UK English & that is how I was taught! Wikipedia is not always 100% reliable, IMO).
30 mins

neutral  Tony M: But only for US; UK style guides are fairly clear about the 'last letter = no point' rule for UK English
40 mins

agree  Phong Le
9 hrs
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
st. or st (saint)
Without the full stop my reccomendation


Explanation:
There is much debate about this issue and I'm not sure that there is any decisive measure about it.
In English-UK it is common to add a full stop of the word gets cut at the point of abbreviation. For example professor becomes prof.
In US English I know that it is custom to add a full stop if the abbreviation might otherwise might be understood as a word.
In practice I see often that each writer add or doesn't add the full stop according to what he is custom to.
So, I guess that you can use whatever you are custom too, and you can't "go wrong" since as far as I know there isn't any strict rule about it (at least not one that manifest itself in practice).

Shai Navé
Israel
Local time: 21:28
Native speaker of: Native in HebrewHebrew, Native in EnglishEnglish
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
st. or st (saint)
St for the Brits


Explanation:
Yes, that's the convention in British English, but I believe the Americans don't follow it. To give another example, Brits would write Prof. but Dr - unless Dr came at the end of a sentence, of course. Generally, American English seems to use more full stops than UK English (U.S.A. cf USA).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 31 mins (2009-01-14 17:05:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Jack must have led a sheltered life ;) because even Wikipedia says:
In British English, abbreviations of titles often omit a full stop, as in Mr, Dr, Prof, which in American English would be given as Mr., Dr., Prof. The rule "If the abbreviation includes both the first and last letter of the abbreviated word, as in mister and doctor, a full stop is not used." is sometimes given,[3] though this does not include Professor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_stop
(the footnote ref. 3 refers to Oxford A–Z of Grammar and Punctuation by John Seely)

Or:
http://www.informatics.sussex.ac.uk/department/docs/punctuat...
Note carefully the use of full stops in these abbreviations. British usage favours omitting the full stop in abbreviations which include the first and last letters of a single word, such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr and St; American usage prefers (A) Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. and St., with full stops. Most other abbreviated titles, however, require a full stop, as shown above.

MoiraB
France
Local time: 20:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you very much at all and for the reference too. Bye!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Simon Mac: Agree for the UK...
18 mins
  -> Thanks, y!

agree  Tony M: UK style guides confirm, but I note that Word spell-checker in US English corrects to with .
34 mins
  -> Thanks, Tony. Wikipedia may not always be reliable, but the Oxford reference it gives is impeccable!

agree  Helen Genevier
1 hr
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Reference comments


58 mins
Reference: Oxford says...

Reference information:
An extract from the Oxford Reference Shelf Usage Guide, which is a very much abridged version of the main Oxford works on the subject:

abbreviations

It is usual to indicate an abbreviation by placing a point (full stop) after it, e.g.

H. G. Wells, five miles S. (= south), B.Litt., Kt., Sun. (= Sunday), Jan. (= January), p. 7 (= page 7), ft., in., lb., cm.

However, no point is necessary:

1. With a sequence of capitals alone, e.g. BBC, MA, QC, NNE, BC, AD, PLC (and not, of course, with acronyms, e.g. Aslef, Naafi).

2. With the numerical abbreviations 1st, 2nd, etc.

3. C, F (of temperature), chemical symbols, and measures of length, weight, time, etc. in scientific and technical use.

4. Dr, Revd, Mr, Mrs, Ms, Mme, Mlle, St, Hants, Northants, p ( = penny or pence).

5. In words that are colloquial abbreviations, e.g. co-op, demo, recap, trad, vac.

[end of quote]

The "no point needed if abbreviation includes both first and last letters of the word" is found in other UK style guides.

Tony M
France
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 156
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3 hrs
Reference: Further to Tony's posting

Reference information:
From the Oxford Guide to Style:

Traditionally, abbreviations were supposed to end in full points while contractions did not, giving rise to both Jun. and Jr for Junior, and Rev. and Revd for Reverend. Handy though this rule is, common usage increasingly fails to bear it out: both ed. (for editor or edited by) and edn. (for edition) end in a point; Street is St. with a point to avoid confusion with St for Saint. Further, US English tends to use punctuation more than British English (U.S.A. rather than USA),, and non-technical English in both countries uses more punctuation than technical English (ml. rather than ml)....

Ken Cox
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 47
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