the United States of America ("USA") [Punctuation abbreviated names?]

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Gundul

Member
English-UK
When abbreviating in a letter, as in ".............the United Sates of America (USA).............", is it necessary to use speech marks for the abbreviation in parentheses e.g. ("USA")?
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Not only are quote marks not necessary, I would find it odd to see them used. But I would also find it odd to see "... the United States of America (USA) ...," although i guess if it's a part of a big report where many other country names are used and abbreviations provided, it might do for consistency. :)
     

    Gundul

    Member
    English-UK
    Thanks for that, Copyright. Actually, USA was just an example. We also often use the parentheses method for names e.g. "Your Financial Planner, Mr Mak Chui Feng ("Mr Mak").................".

    Is it needed in those cases?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The question becomes a little more complicated with names, I think -- or maybe it does just for me. For abbreviations of countries, companies and the like, I would not use quote marks. But if I were using a name by which I wanted the reader to call someone -- or to recognize someone in a story -- then I might, e.g. Mrs. Beatrice Ruth Baxter ("Betsy").

    I don't think I would bother with Mr. Mak Chui Feng ("Mr Mak") because I would expect people to call him Mr. Mak without having to be told. But if he had a nickname that he prefers to be called, then I probably would, e.g. Mr. Mak Chui Feng ("Jimmy") or ("Ah-Feng").
     

    Gundul

    Member
    English-UK
    I agree with the second part of your response, and I would not even use brackets to define the abbreviated name; assuming there is only one Mr Mak mentioned it is obvious who I am referring to next time the individual crops up in the text.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    The "we" refers to my colleagues and me.
    OK.
    Where do you live? I was wondering if you really are a native UK speaker?
    The use of inverted commas and brackets looks a bit excessive to me, but maybe it's familiar in certain work contexts? Copyright seems happy with it, but he's an "American". :D
     

    Gundul

    Member
    English-UK
    I am a native English speaker. I agree with you that inverted commas and brackets is excessive. I was trying to determine if there was any rule about this, whether observed or not.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Quotation marks are often used in legal texts, either to indicate the short name of a party, such as the Acme Roller Skate Company ("Acme"), or a short identifier, such as for the bank that is lending the money ("the Lender"). In normal text they're not wanted.
     

    Gundul

    Member
    English-UK
    Thanks Loob. The concensus seems to be that it is not necessary to use quotation marks, but perhaps advsable in legal text.
     
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