To make articles as short as possible in newspapers, certain conventions are used. One such convention is that when a sentence ends with サ変名詞{へんめいし}、「をする」is omitted. Another is that the full names of companies, such as "三菱重工業株式会社" can be abbreviated as "三菱重工".

I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that abbreviated writing style has a formal name. What is it?
What are some other conventions?

  • 4
    The inclusive word for the set of rules for this purpose is named 見出し文法 and each abbreviated word used in it is just called 省略語.
    – user4032
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 8:50
  • @TokyoNagoya Is 発信, e.g., abbreviated? That is, would it be called a 省略語?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 18:33
  • @Earthliŋ 発信 as the antonym of 受信? I do not think so.
    – user4032
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 11:03
  • 1
    @TokyoNagoya It's just that the OP included an example of 体言止め and I wasn't sure whether to interpret your comment to mean that 体言止め (e.g. 発信, 受信, whatever) is an "abbreviation" (because (を)する is omitted). I didn't think that the Japanese thought of 体言止め as "abbreviation".
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 11:48

2 Answers 2


As I stated in the comment, the set of "rules" that are used to save space in newspapers and magazines (nowadays, websites as well) is commonly called 「[見出]{みだ}し[文法]{ぶんぽう}」, literally meaning "headline grammar".

Some of the characteristics of 見出し文法 are:

1) Use of [省略語]{しょうりゃくご} (abbreviated words).

2) Omission of all forms of 「する」,「なる」,「いる」 and 「ある」. Instead of 「オバマ[大統領]{だいとうりょう}が[来日]{らいにち}する(or した)= "President Obama visits/visited Japan."」, you will see a 「オバマ大統領来日」 as the headline.

3) Omission of particles -- most importantly, that of 「」 and 「」. I say "most importantly" because, as many of you would know, particles in general often get omitted in informal conversations, but が and を are the ones that are least often omitted. For this reason, the omission of those two in 見出し文法 is of significance.

You will see a 「俳優田中明警官刺し逃走」with just a single kana instead of a 「[俳優]{はいゆう}田中明{たなかあきら}が[警官]{けいかん}を[刺]{さ}して[逃走]{とうそう}している」= "Actor Akira Tanaka stabs policeman and runs away."

4) Omission of the predictable verb following the object of the phrase. For instance, if a native speaker saw the short phrase 羽生「金」, he will be able to tell that it is the 見出し form of the sentence 「[羽生]{はにゅう}が[金]{きん}メダルを[獲得]{かくとく}した」 = "Hanyuu won the gold medal."

***Please note that only #1 above is used in BOTH headlines and articles. The other techniques are used only in headlines.


I do not know the formal name for it; but, I would call it 略称{りゃくしょう} ("name abbreviation") or 略語{りゃくご} ("abbreviation"). There is an article on Wikipedia about 略語 (Japanese).

Another example that comes to mind is country/region names. Some often seen in the news are:

  • Germany: 独{どく} (from 独逸{ドイツ})
  • France: 仏{ふつ} (from 仏蘭西{フランス})
  • UK: 英{えい} or 英国{えいこく} (from 英吉利{イギリス})
  • USA: 米{べい} or 米国{べいこく} (from 亜米利加{アメリカ})
  • Australia: 豪{ごう} or 豪州{ごうしゅう} (from 濠太剌利亜{オーストラリア})
  • South Africa: 南ア{なんあ} (from 南{みなみ}アフリカ共和国{きょうわこく})
  • Europe: 欧{おう} or 欧州{おうしゅう} (from 欧羅巴{ヨーロッパ})
  • Northern Europe: 北欧{ほくおう}
  • South America: 南米{なんべい}
  • North America: 北米{ほくべい}
  • East Asia: 東亜{とうあ} (from 東{ひがし} and 亜細亜{アジア})

For a more exhaustive list, you might also check out the list of 漢字{かんじ} for country names on Wikipedia.


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