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Using abbreviations to symbolize long words or commonly known titles is encouraged. However the abbreviations used should be uniform. This is especially true when it comes to abbreviations for countries.

Country abbreviations

Some country abbreviations include periods while others do not.

Include periods

United States of America - Always abbreviated as U.S. Never use U.S.A. or US.

Exclude periods

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - Always abbreviate as UK. Never use U.K. or GB.