UK counties "abbreviations" in formal documents

Discussion in 'English Only' started by carog, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. carog Senior Member

    England - Hampshire
    French - France
    Hello everyone,
    I was wondering if the abbreviations of some counties' name - like "Hants" for "Hampshire" or "Oxon" for "Oxfordshire" - are acceptable in formal documents (ie contracts) or if they are best left for the postman?
    Thank you,
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Well, I wouldn't treat the more divergent ones such as Hants and Oxon any differently from transparent ones like Berks. and Yorks. I would imagine you wouldn't use any of these in the main text of formal documents, but I Am Not A Lawyer.
  3. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I Am Not A Lawyer either, but my reaction is the same as etb's:)
  4. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    These abbreviations are used in postal addresses principally. Of course in an informal note one might say "I'll be in Hants at the weekend", but in most circumstances, and certainly formal ones, it would surely be better to write the county name in full.

    What kind of reference to a county are you thinking of in respect to a contract? You can't go wrong with the full spelling, of course, and I see little benefit in the abbreviation other than to save time, which is not generally a consideration when drawing up a contract.

    By the way, in addresses (e.g. on an envelope) the county is unnecessary, as long as you have the post code. At the (law) firm where I work we don't include them in letters or in our records. However, we don't draw up contracts, so I can't tell you our practice in that respect.
  5. carog Senior Member

    England - Hampshire
    French - France
    Thank you all for your comments, I will use the full spelling - I was just being lazy! :D
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I suppose the place where abbreviations are accepted are in university degrees - DPhil (Oxon), MSc (Edin), MA (Cantab), MA (Exon), BDS (Lond), PhD (Glas), BA Hons (Birm) and so on.
  7. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Yes but those aren't abbreviations of counties though, Nat;)
  8. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    That is true, young ewie, although I was thinking about contexts where 'Oxon' might be used. Guilty as charged. :(

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