Digital Renaissance Editions

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7. Abbreviations and Minor Points of Style

All editors should consult the MLA Handbook for details of style; where this is silent, refer to the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

7.1. List of abbreviations

Editors must provide a file that lists the abbreviations used. Remember that the electronic format does not force you to cramp your space; where it does not involve inelegant repetition or wordiness, you can spell items out in full.

7.1.1. Shakespeare's plays

For abbreviated titles of works by Shakespeare, please use the following abbreviations and record them in your list of abbreviations (they are the standard ones listed in the MLA Handbook, listed here as a computer will sort them). 

1H4 The First Part of King Henry the Fourth
1H6 The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
2H4 The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
2H6 The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
3H6 The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth
Ado Much Ado About Nothing
Ant Antony and Cleopatra
AWW All's Well That Ends Well
AYL As You Like It
Cor Coriolanus
Cym Cymbeline
Edw Edward III
Err The Comedy of Errors
H5 King Henry the Fifth
H8 King Henry the Eighth
Ham Hamlet
JC Julius Caesar
Jn King John
LC A Lover's Complaint
LLL Love's Labour's Lost
Lr King Lear
Luc The Rape of Lucrece
Mac Macbeth
MM Measure for Measure
MND A Midsummer Night's Dream
MV The Merchant of Venice
Oth Othello
Per Pericles
PhT The Phoenix and Turtle
PP The Passionate Pilgrim
R2 King Richard the Second
R3 King Richard the Third
Rom Romeo and Juliet
Shr The Taming of the Shrew
Son Sonnets
STM Sir Thomas Mor
TGV The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Tim Timon of Athens
Tit Titus Andronicus
Tmp The Tempest
TN Twelfth Night
TNK The Two Noble Kinsmen
Tro Troilus and Cressida
Ven Venus and Adonis
Wiv The Merry Wives of Windsor
WT The Winter's Tale

Note the additional abbreviations for quartos of multiple texts:

Ham_Q1 Hamlet (Q1)
Ham_Q2 Hamlet (Q2)
Ham_F1 Hamlet (Folio)
Lr_Q1 King Lear (Quarto)
Lr_F1 King Lear (Folio)
Wiv_Q1 The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto)
Wiv_F1 The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio)
Oth_Q1 Othello (Quarto)
Oth_F1 Othello (Folio)
Rom_Q1 Romeo and Juliet (Q1)
Rom_Q2 Romeo and Juliet (Q2)

7.1.2. QME and DRE plays

Plays published by the Queen's Men Editions and Digital Renaissance Editions will each have a short, unique, identifier. As with ISE plays, these can be further identified: in addition to quarto, folio, and modern versions, they may use MS for manuscript.

Plays accepted to date:


FV The Famous Victories of Henry V
FBFB Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
Leir The History of King Leir
3L3LL The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London
OWT The Old Wives Tale
TRKJ The Troublesome Reign of King John
TTR3 The True Tragedy of Richard III


1HW The Honest Whore, Part One
2HW The Honest Whore, Part Two
2IfYouKnow If You Know Not Me, You Know Nobody, Part Two
AHDM An Humorous Day's Mirth
Amends Amends for Ladies
Arden Arden of Faversham
Cambyses Cambyses, King of Persia
CB The Cruel Brother
CoC The Conflict of Conscience
Cro Thomas Lord Cromwell
DaP Damon and Pithias
EMFMM Englishmen For My Money
HickScorner Hick Scorner
Ironside Edmund Ironside
KNDW Kemp's Nine Days' Wonder
Launching The Launching of the Mary
Loc The Tragedy of Locrine
LP The London Prodigal
Pur The Puritan
Susanna Virtuous and Godly Susanna
TrWid The Triumphant Widow
Weathercock A Woman is a Weathercock
WitScience Wit and Science
WoB The Whore of Babylon
Youth The Interlude of Youth
Yrk A Yorkshire Tragedy

7.1.3. Other works

For other works, abbreviate only if you are referring to them continuously, in which case you should use generally recognized abbreviations, e.g. SMT (The Second Maiden's Tragedy), Span. Trag. (The Spanish Tragedy), etc., and list them in the Abbreviations. 

Remember, however, that in the electronic world you are not limited by space, so can spell works out in full even if you refer to them frequently. Where works are published by the Queen's Men Editions or Digital Renaissance Editions, use the abbreviation for plays in those series in all links even if you use a different form in your introductory materials.

7.1.4. Other common forms of abbreviation

Where possible, follow MLA style. 

a) Examples of common abbreviations used for in-text citation:

i) Dictionaries

(OED Boggle v. 3) [Note that the abbreviations ("n.," "v.," etc.) in OED citations should be italic]
(Dent W241)
(Tilley C696)
(Abbott 334) 

ii) Book or article with page reference 

(North 306) 

iii) Book with more than one volume

(Bullough 2: 122)

iv) Plays

Marlowe, 1 Tamburlaine, Prologue
Ham. 3.3.15 (TLN 2288)

(with ilink: <ilink component="text" href="Ham/M#tln-2288">TLN 2288</ilink>)

Book where the author has more than one entry in your Bibliography

(Wells, Re-Editing 87)

Article where the author has more than one entry in your Bibliography

(Hunter, "Flatcaps," 18-20) 

Internal references to parts of your edition

(Textual Introduction 11) (i.e., paragraph 11 of your Textual Introduction)

Biblical and classical references

(2 Peter, 3.13)
(Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.640-78) 

Use commas in abbreviated references, thus: 

"... in SMT, 3.4.5, it is ..." (not "... in SMT 3.4.5 it is ...")

b) Recto and verso Recto and verso folios (etc.) should be designated by "r" and "v" or "a" and "b," using Roman, not italic, letters. For example: 

fol. 6v
fols. 3b-7a
sig. A1r
sig. 2O4v
sigs. E4r-F2v

7.1.5. Abbreviations that need not be listed

Specific abbreviations you may use (but which are not to be included in the list of abbreviations):

Abbreviation Expansion
adj. adjective 
adv. adverb 
c. circa 
ch. chapter 
ed. and eds. editor, edition; editors, editions 
f. following page or line 
ff. following pages or lines 
fol. and fols. folio, folios 
e.g. for example (not to be followed by a comma)
i.e. id est: that is (to be followed by a comma)
n. note (Thus: line 63n. line 63n.5)
n. noun (preferred to sb.) 
no. number 
OED Oxford English Dictionary 
SD stage direction 
SP speech prefix 
st. stanza 
UP University Press 
v. verb 
vol. and vols. volume, volumes

Do not abbreviate "cited"; do not use v. (for "vide"); where necessary use "see." Do not use sv. Other abbreviations commonly found in OED citations that may be used when quoting such citations include: ppl., adj., int., pa., pple., vbl., arch., dial., poss., pron., obs., conj., quasi-sb., sig., sigs.

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