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Abbreviation: U.S. or US for United States? – Susan Weiner Funding Writing Acquire US

A shopper used to abbreviate america as U.S. and the UK as UK. The inconsistency drove me batty. I couldn’t discover a motive for that disparity. But it surely made me marvel, what are the foundations for a way one ought to abbreviate america?

What model guides say

The net AP Stylebook says “Makes use of durations within the abbreviation.” Nonetheless, “In headlines, it’s US (no durations).” AP model appears to permit for a number of space-saving variations for headlines—like utilizing numerals in headlines, however spelling out numbers below 10 within the physique of the textual content. By the way in which, AP model has the same rule for abbreviating United Kingdom.

Garner’s Trendy American Utilization says of U.S. and U.S.A.,

Because the shortened varieties for United States of America, these phrases retain their durations, regardless of the fashionable pattern to drop the durations in most initialisms… U.S. is finest reserved to be used as an adjective…, though to make use of it as a noun in headlines is frequent. In abbreviations incorporating U.S., the durations are usually dropped <USPS> <USO> <USNA>.

Nonetheless, different model guides favor US. For instance, the MLA Style Center says,

In its publications, the MLA makes use of the abbreviation US. (Practices amongst publishers fluctuate, nevertheless, and it isn’t incorrect to make use of U.S. Whichever abbreviation you select, be constant.)

The MLA prefers to spell out the title United States in the primary textual content of a piece, in each adjective and noun varieties. It makes use of the adjective kind sparingly.


The Chicago Guide of Fashion additionally favors US, because it says in an online FAQ.

Till the seventeenth version, Chicago model was to spell out the noun in working textual content, however abbreviate the adjective as US. Now, we permit US as a noun, however provided that the which means is evident from context—that’s, the utilization is topic to editorial discretion.

What you must do

Discover how the MLA Fashion Heart mentions consistency? Consistency is essential as a result of it makes your publications simpler to learn. Your group ought to choose one model and keep it up.

I’m sticking with U.S., until I write for a publication with a mode information that requires US. What about you?

In case you like this put up, you may additionally like “The best way to capitalize monetary acronyms.”  

U.S. vs. UK

I couldn’t discover any guidelines suggesting why one ought to use U.S. for america together with UK for the UK. Do any of you’ve got concepts about this? Please let me know. Curiosity is killing me.

One in all my associates urged that some publications combine the 2 types of punctuation as a result of UK is most popular in the UK.

One other urged that it’s OK to drop the durations from UK however not U.S. as a result of uk shouldn’t be an actual phrase, whereas us is a extensively used pronoun.

Go to for particulars.


NOTE: I expanded this weblog put up on Oct. 31, 2022.

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