A set of English words that can be written as four letter abbreviations, with the following caveats:
- 2,3,4,5, and some 6 letter words are not abbreviated.
- standard abbreviations are used when available.
- add an s to plural abbreviations if desired.
- add a d to form past tense if desired.
- add a y to form an adverb if desired.
abbr -- abbreviation
abvtd -- abbreviated
addr -- address
emgc -- emergence
emgy -- emergency
Engl -- English
govt -- government
impl -- implementation
intf -- interface
intl -- international
i18n -- internationalization
ltrs -- letters
mgfly -- meaningfully
no -- no
num -- number
numb -- numb
nmrc -- numeric
really -- really
revw -- review
schd -- schedule
srvc -- service
server -- server
work -- work
yes -- yes
I fail to see the point of this page, could some one explain?
I suspect that this approach would have various advantages:
- It seems like compiling this list would be a fun thing to do on this wiki for those who are inclined.
- database column names are often best constructed using groups of three or four words. If the words are kept short, the column names should not get too long.
[discussion moved to RelationalDatabaseFieldNames
Thank you for your kind advice. In future I shall save time by abbreviating 'yes' to 'yes' and 'no' to 'no'.
Does this page rlly mean to clam that evry engl word can be mfly abbd to four ltrs?
Does this page really mean to claim that every English word can be meaningfully abbreviated to four letters? How would the system distinguish, say "emergency" from "emergence"? I for one would hope that if the former were at hand, it could never be mistaken. --StevenNewton
I don't know, let's try this and see if it works out. Perhaps this is a rather ambitious project after all. Maybe cheating a bit and going to five once in a while would make it work.
How about "implement", "implicate", "implicit", "implication"?
"Stephen Pinker's book "The Language Instinct"
tells about some researchers who figured
the average American high-school graduate knows approximately 45,000 words.
This is an underestimate because the researchers (Nagy and Anderson)
excluded proper names, numbers, foreign words and acronyms."
"Vocabulary Analysis of Project Guttenberg"
by Zachary Booth Simpson, May 2000
"there are only a limited number of words in the English language (~400,000 in this sample)"
There are only 30000 or so possible four letter words
I'm not sure I like the idea of trying to make everything a FourLetterWord?...
- Only if you care about being able to pronounce them. There are 26^4 = 456 976 four letter combinations. A few more if you add in two and three letter combinations. (and no, srvc is not something I could pronounce.)
"Terseness is itself a virtue insufficiently appreciated.
Who has not had the experience of reading a long sentence,
involving difficult concepts, or complex relations, and
found that at the end of the sentence he had forgotten the beginning?
If you cannot express an idea briefly,
then a combination of ideas may become so awkward that its expression is not just difficult,
Yet in English, for example, we use unnecessarily long words
because most of the one-syllable words have not been allocated."
The Language of Superman
"One line replaces ten.
How can a piece of code that is an order of magnitude too large
be considered reliable ?
There is that much greater chance for confusion,
and hence for the introduction of bugs.
There is that much more that must be understood
in order to make evolutionary changes."
-- in the "being too complicated" section of
"Programming Style: Examples and Counterexamples"
article by BrianKernighan
book edited by Edward Nash Yourdon 1979
: is there a better place for the above quote ? -- DavidCary
This is vaguely reminiscent of "star codes".
Mark Nelson looked at eight of Shakespeare's plays
and found 16904 distinct words (not counting 1-letter words),
which is less than 26^3 = 17 576.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Iuliet is the Sunne,
Arise faire Sun and kill the enuious Moone,
Who is already sicke and pale with griefe,
That thou her Maid art far more faire then she
B** *of*, **a* **g** *****g* ***d*r ***do* b*e***?
It *s *** E**t, **d ***i** *s *** *u**e,
A***e **i** *un **d k*** *** e****** M****,
*ho *s a****** **c*e **d **le ***h ****fe,
***t ***u *e* *ai* *r* f*r **r* **i** ***n s**
*43 *1069, *41 *349 *469 *1492 *2583 *12782?
*114 *7 *0 *2550, *1 *417 *7 *0 *931,
*5359 *193 *902 *1 *521 *0 *1548 *616,
*168 *7 *1283 *731 *1 *695 *13 *1042,
*34 *21 *27 *938 *144 *3817 *49 *193 *37 *67
- Footnote: I've heard at least one anthropologist use the term "Bard" to refer the number of distinct words in Shakespeare's body of literature. It was mostly used to say "such and such language has a dictionary of Foo and a quarter Bards, or the commonon vocabulary of such and such subgroup is approximately half a Bard in size."
"Star-Encoding in C++" by Mark Nelson, August, 2002
(Are there pages on this wiki, or some other wiki, that talk about DataCompression?
Obviously the mapping from English words to 4 character sequences is onto but not 1-1 :-), that is, naturally, some words would have the same 4 letter abbreviation. When there are multiple words with the same abbreviation, hopefully you could determine the correct one from context. Abbreviations dont suffer from this alone, by the way... English pronounciation itself can be indeterminate... compare "read" in 'I will read it' to 'I have read it'.
And if you were writing a note in an emergency, its probably better not to skimp on details in exchange for efficiency :-)
See also SoundEx