Abbreviate common titles when accompanied by a name. Common abbreviations do not require clarification in brackets.

  • I am interviewing for the first time Dr. Jennifer Grace Antonio Floether.

When an interviewer or narrator uses an uncommon abbreviation in their speech for the first time, clarify the meaning in brackets.

  • —starting off with very dramatic immediate experiences, but moving then to this encounter with Robert Walker, through whom I’ve encountered T. F. [Thomas Forsyth] Torrance by, I think a miracle, whose whole way of thinking and writing has transformed me in my mind.

If you are unsure of what an abbreviation means, write as much of it as you can (in brackets) and mark it for later review (shown in this example with two asterisks).

  • I’m not one of these people who adulates Torrance, but I love how he’s changed my life because he above all—and J. B. [James B.**]—have offered me Christ in ways that I can grasp, in ways that, you know, transform me.

Sometimes the meaning of abbreviated text is obvious from context. (For example, it is clear that "Torrance" in the example below refers to T. F. Torrance.) Too many brackets create burdensome reading; only use brackets to clarify abbreviations when it is otherwise ambiguous.

  • I’m acutely aware of the need to translate not the full tradition, simply, working from, working from that foundation, find ways of articulating what Torrance and J. B. have articulated, um, that are accessible to people who haven’t got the language, who can’t think, as they say, in long sentences, who find it difficult to hold different concepts together, to follow an argument which might have three elements in it.

A frequent occurrence of an abbreviation in this oral history project is T. F. Torrance. There should be one space between initials in a name.

Protip: If you are unsure of what an abbreviation means, chances are a future reader will be too. A good starting place for deciding which words should be abbreviated and explained in brackets is to consider yourself as a reader of the transcript.