Daily we find the abbreviation of master and doctor in business cards, e-mail signatures, posters and certificates of lectures, slides of presentations, minutes of defense, letters and in several other types of documents.
And in all these cases, the abbreviation of master or doctor is present in the most diverse variations.
The abbreviation for master, for example, can be found out there as “Me.”, “Ms.”, “MSc.” or me".
Abbreviations ( or reductions ) can be defined as the representation of a word through its syllables (usually initials) or letters, that is, they are fractions of words that designate all the words.
The abbreviations used in the language reveal the fast pace of modern life, which saves words and time, through faster communication, which reduces sentences, expressions and words.
Before getting into the merits of the different forms of abbreviation for academic titles, you need to know the Vocabulário Ortográfico da Língua Portuguesa, or VOLP, for those close to you.
The VOLP is edited by the Academia Brasileira de Letras (ABL), an entity that has a legal delegation to officially list the existing words in Portuguese, as well as provide their gender, spelling and pronunciation.
Because in VOLP there is a section of more recurrent reductions, in which it is possible to find the following abbreviations:
Me – master
M. a – master
– MS manuscript. – manuscript
Dr – doctor
Drs. – Doctors
Dr. – Doctor
Dr. – Doctors
Note that according to the Brazilian Academy of Letters, “Ms.” or "MS." are abbreviations for “manuscript”. However, I have always found the “Me” and “Dr” forms a bit strange, not to mention aesthetically unpalatable.
PUC do RS has a writing manual available online, which also has an abbreviations section, where you can find:
Me or Me. – Master
Ma or Ma. – Master D. r or Dr. – Doctor D. rs or Drs. – Doctors D. ra or Dr. – Dr. D. ras or Drs. – doctors
The Academia Brasileira de Letras presents in the VOLP the reductions of the Latin words Scientiae Magister and Philosophiae Doctor as:
Sc.M. – Scientiae Magister (Master of Science)
Ph.D. – Philosophiae Doctor (Doctor of/in philosophy)
However, the confusion here lies in the fact that “MSc.” is the abbreviation for “ Master of Science ” and that “PhD.” is the reduction of “ Philosophy Doctor ” (doctor in philosophy), which are the abbreviations and titles given to those who complete, respectively, the master's and doctorate courses, in several areas, in English-speaking countries.
If you have completed your postdoctoral studies, congratulations!
But postdoc is not a course and it doesn't give you a title, although many mistakenly think so.
Postdoc does not exist.
Anyone who has a postdoctoral degree is, in fact, still a doctor.
And you will use the abbreviation of doctor in front of your name.
The abbreviation of master and/or doctor is a controversial issue, in which each form of abbreviation has fervent advocates, often motivated more by emotion than reason.
Some argue that the list of VOLP reductions is just a compilation of the forms used in the last century, with the aim of ascertaining usage and providing guidance on what is most common and practical, rather than legislating usage.
After all, language is a dynamic process, in which users actually determine whether or not the language changes.
Others argue that although the master's or doctoral course was not carried out in an English-speaking country, English is the “ official language of science ” and that, for this reason, the use of “MSc.” and the “PhD.” should be accepted.
But we are not going to say here what “the” correct form is.
Besides there is a lot of controversy, this is not Gloria Kalil's blog to dictate rules.
The idea of this post was just to present the origins and meanings of the abbreviations, as well as list some sources so you can form your opinion.
But if you were particularly curious, I use “Me.” and "Dr." in documents and presentations in Portuguese, and “MSc.” and “DSc.” in documents and presentations in English.