The great thing about the word “versus” is that “vs.” or “vs” are both acceptable abbreviations. You can even spell out “versus” and it will still be an acceptable form. There is also the possibility of using “v.” but this is specific to legal writing and jargon.
Therefore, the good news is you can’t go wrong and you won’t ever make a mistake. So this will be fairly simple to remember and you can use it in speech or writing without having to concern yourself with pesky grammatical rules.
Defining the Word, “Versus”
The modern use of the word “versus” and its abbreviations means “opposed,” “against,” “in competition with” or “compared to.” It’s a quick way to indicate or imply a balance of one or more objects.
“Versus” is the past participle of the old Latin verb “vertere.” This essentially translates as “to turn.” Its first known use was in 1447 during a legal trial between John Husset versus John Notte. But, over the centuries, the use has expanded into anything to indicate someone or something that’s against another person or object.
Abbreviation Examples for “Versus”
Consider the examples below to deepen your knowledge base.
The US Labor Department versus Amazon Holdings
The US Labor Department vs. Amazon Holdings
The US Labor Department vs Amazon Holdings
The US Labor Department v. Amazon Holdings
Apples versus oranges
Apples vs. oranges
Apples vs oranges
Apples v. oranges [technically incorrect because it’s not a legal document]
Consider the effects of herbal remedies versus the list of contraindications for allopathic pharmaceuticals.
Consider the effects of herbal remedies vs. the list of contraindications for allopathic pharmaceuticals.
Consider the effects of herbal remedies vs the list of contraindications for allopathic pharmaceuticals.
Consider the effects of herbal remedies v. the list of contraindications for allopathic pharmaceuticals.
According to the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, the all-around standard hailed by professional journalists everywhere, you should always fully say or spell out the word “versus” in the context of writing and speaking. Abbreviations are acceptable when you desire to create a short-expression or for the sake of conserving space.
Regardless of the AP stylebook recommendations, you can use any form of the word “versus” to indicate against, comparison, opposition, or competition. It’s not difficult to remember and you’ll never go wrong no matter if you use “vs.” or “vs”.
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