If I was shortening someone's last name to only the first letter, but not doing it for the first name, would I put the dot after the last name or between the first name and the last name?

For example, is it John.C or John C.?


If you do use a period, it always goes after what is being abbreviated

Dr. (doctor, not to be confused with "drive")
St. (saint, not to be confused with "street")

However, a period is not always used, especially in BrE, and seems to get dropped from time to time in AmE, for example in addresses.

In your first example, putting the period before the "C" would result in

John .C

since the period is usually not a word delimiter in written English, otherwise it would be

John C.Williams

which would be incorrect, however, there are times it might be formatted as

John C.J. Williams

for contiguous abbreviations.

The famous example which breaks the rules is


Formatting the abbreviation as


looks more programming-ish, "C" is a method for object "John".

protected by Community Oct 3 '18 at 17:47

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.