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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.
Some country abbreviations include periods while others do not.
United States of America - Always abbreviated as U.S. Never use U.S.A. or US.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - Always abbreviate as UK. Never use U.K. or GB.