Garammar Page - What grammar to use when. Abbreviation An abbreviation is a short form of another word: "Dr." for "Doctor," "N.J." for "New Jersey," "vol." for "volume." A pronounceable abbreviation formed from initials without periods (e.g., NASA) is called an acronym. It is better to avoid abbreviations in formal and business writing. However, there are occasions when abbreviations are acceptable: Garammar Page - What grammar to use when.