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Fokus: President Obama

Bleiben Sie bei den politischen Ereignissen up-to-date. Wir stellen Ihnen die wichtigsten Reden des US-Präsidenten als Video und als Dokumente mit Vokabelhilfen zur Verfügung.

The White House, Washington, D.C., June 21, 2014:
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Quiz: Greenwashing

If you´ve read our title article (August 2014) then you know what "Greenwashing" is, but how easily can you identify it and how much do you really know? Try our quiz and find out!
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HOW TO use and understand abbreviations

General formal writing

When writing letters, reports, plans, descriptions, briefings and so on, abbreviations are not as common as in shorter pieces of text. As a guideline, do not use abbreviations unless you are quite sure that they are both acceptable and easily comprehensible.

As a rule, abbreviations in addresses, salutations / titles and the more common acronyms or initialisms can still be used in formal writing, but if in doubt write the word or expression out in full, a task that does not seem so onerous if you are writing several pages of text anyway.

The grammar of abbreviations

The use of full stops (US = period) is still controversial; in Britain people tend to use far fewer punctuation marks than in the US, so abbreviations are generally not punctuated.

Abbreviations that have become so common that they are written in lower case letters (eg: scuba) are no longer punctuated, and true acronyms (where the letters, although written in uppercase, are pronounced together as a word) are usually also not punctuated. Initialisms are more likely to contain a series of full stops, particularly in the US (where K.G.B. would be correct, according to the style guides of various publications, such as The New York Times).

Portmanteaux do not contain any punctuation, neither do most apocopes.

Plural abbreviations sometimes give rise to more contr oversy, again, particularly in the US. The easiest way to use them is to avoid punctuation whenever necessary, as is common in British usage. We can therefore write about CDs in a collection, or the TVs for sale in a shop, rather than confusing the issue with full stops and/or apostrophes.

Possessives still need to be indicated with an apostrophe + s, which means that it is often simpler to avoid an abbreviation, eg:
The United States' economy,

rather than the inelegant looking:
The US's economy.

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