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Luton Borough Council

Abbreviations and acronyms

 

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Abbreviations can be convenient: they can also cause confusion if used incorrectly.

Very few abbreviations are universally understood. Even an abbreviation commonly used and understood in one area of the council may be unfamiliar to colleagues working elsewhere, and will almost certainly be unfamiliar to our customers.

Always use the full title in the first instance. If (and only if) you intend referring to the subject again later in the text, put the abbreviation in parenthesis after the first use, for example:

The council runs a childcare voucher scheme (CVS).

Then use the abbreviation on its own for the rest of the document.
 
Examples of common abbreviations that can be used without definition are:
 
NHS, BBC, ITV, UK, EU, MP, MEP
 
There may be others, but if you are in any doubt use the full title in the first instance.
 
Acronyms should use capital letters without full stops when each letter is representative of a word in the title, for example, Corporate Leadership Management Team would be CLMT.
 
Some acronyms begin with a capital letter, for example, Unicef or Unison.

Council-related abbreviations

Do not use the abbreviation LBC for Luton Borough Council. Use Luton Council (as opposed to Luton Borough Council) wherever possible - this will now be the format of choice for the vast majority of communications.
 
See ‘Luton Council’ for more information. Preferably, simply refer to ‘the council’ or say ‘we’ or ‘our’.

Other abbreviations

Never use the ampersand symbol (&) in general text or when describing council departments such as Place and Infrastructure.
 
The ampersand should only be used when it is part of an organisation’s
official title, for example: Marks & Spencer.
 
Never use numeral abbreviations (2nd, 4th etc) in text.
 
Use: This is the fourth time the council has sponsored this event.
Do not use: This is the 4th time the council sponsored this event.
 

Download a copy of our style guide

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