Abbreviations - short forms of words or expressions, often simply the words' initial letters - are useful for saving space in texts that contain a lot of repetition,
but their success depends on the readers' familiarity with them. For this reason they are frequently used in technical texts, because they always have the same precise meaning and the readers are
familiar with them through their knowledge of the context.
Consistency is very important: once abbreviations are established they must be repeated in the same form so that readers can recognize them. English legal texts such
as contracts often establish abbreviations at the beginning like this: "The Management (hereinafter 'Mnt')...". Other texts sometimes introduce short forms without explanation, and then it can be a
hard task for readers to understand them, but with logical thinking, general knowledge and plenty of patience for looking up and down in the text, readers can decipher the abbreviations, even in a
foreign language - as in today's Ice-hockey Championships extract.