General Question

lumisota's avatar

When abbreviating Mister to Mr[.], should a dot be added at the end?

Asked by lumisota (16points) June 20th, 2008

I’ve asked various people, and received various different answers. Anyone?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Yes, of course.

ezraglenn's avatar

always always always.

ezraglenn's avatar

Just as with misc. for miscellaneous and etc. for etcetera.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

The only time you do not use a dot at the end of Mr is if you are addressing an animal, such as Mr Ed, the talking horse. This is the only way to distinguish to whom someone is addressing in a written communication. For example: “Mr. Stevens was riding Mr Ed” lets you know Mr Ed is an animal, presumably one that likes to be riden. If the writer had written “Mr. Stevens was riding Mr. Ed” well that’s a topic for another discussion.

robmandu's avatar

Apparently, someone forgot to tell the rest of the Internet about that convention, @sue. :-\

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Wow. I didn’t see that addressed at all in the Wikipedia entry. I’ll have to edit it : ~>

robmandu's avatar

@sue, touché!

marinelife's avatar

BTW, that dot is a period. Mr. is an abbreviation for mister, which is why you use the period.

Here is the rule:

Lesson 337 – Punctuation – Periods

“Use a period after the abbreviations Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., and St. (Saint) before a name and Jr., Sr., and Esq., after a name. Do not use a period with Miss because it is not an abbreviation.”

The site also has little exercises so you can practice if you like.

spendy's avatar

You should not, however, use the period if you are addressing a formal invitation. FYI

marinelife's avatar

@spendywatson Spendy, you need to clarify. I think you meant that you should not abbreviate the word mister on a formal invitation. Because if you do abbreviate, you should use the period even on a formal invitation.

From MyGatsby:


Traditional etiquette says that you should abbreviate absolutely nothing. It has recently become acceptable to abbreviate titles (Dr., Mrs., etc.). It will be up to you how closely you want to adhere to traditional rules as writing everything out can be time consuming and in some cases costly. Writing out street numbers and state names is an elegant touch, but it can also be a daunting task and even delay the delivery of your invitations. The United States Post Office would rather you adhere to standard abbreviations (“CA” instead of “California”). Either option is acceptable and left to your own personal judgment. ”

spendy's avatar

@Marina – yep, should have elaborated. Thanks for covering me. ;)

jonno's avatar

In America, probably yes.

However outside of America, we don’t, because a full stop (or “period”) doesn’t go on the end of an abbreviation if the last letter of the abbreviation is the last letter of the word – so you would write Mr Smith or Dr Smith (also applies with words like “street” and “court”, for example Smith St and Smith Crt).

The logic behind this is the full stop says that there are letters remaining, so in an abbreviation like “Mr” where there aren’t hidden letters, the full stop is not needed

marinelife's avatar

Thanks, jonno, interesting to know it is not universal.

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