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14 July 2012

Abbreviations Are Often Contemporary

An 1819 document used the abbreviation "M.T." as part of the location in a document. It took me a moment to realize that the reference was to "Missouri Territory." In 1850, such an abbreviation would not be used

Abbreviations were always used in the context of the time and place. Keep this in mind when interpreting them.

And remember that using abbreviations in your own work should be avoided precisely to avoid confusion.

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