## 4 August, 2004

# Singular abbreviations

Can anyone think of a Brit English word which is plural when spelled out in full, but singular when abbreviated (not counting acronyms)?

The example which sparked discussion at the weekend was *'mathematics'*, abbreviated to *'math'*, but that's US English, and in UK English, simply wrong.

Incidentally, to tie up that example, Mathematics is definitely a plural - it's the combination of the three mathematical sciences of arithmetic, geometry and analysis (algebra, etc.). There are individual *mathematical sciences* (though it's an uncommon phrase), but there's no such thing as a *mathematic*, so *'math'* is meaningless, or at least idiosyncratic.

Posted by Ministry at 08:54
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