WV, W.Va.: which abbreviation for West Virginia is correct?

WV, W.Va.: which abbreviation for West Virginia is correct?
WV or W.Va. -- which is correct?

Throughout West Virginia Explorer you'll find West Virginia abbreviated as both WV and W.Va. Which is the correct abbreviation for West Virginia?


According to official guides to American English, "W.Va." is still the preferred punctuation. This is because it leaves little room for misunderstanding. The abbreviation WV is also the accepted abbreviation for scores of other two-word combinations that being with the letters W and V, including weight variant, Wabash Valley, West Vancouver, and Whitewater Valley.

Will the abbreviation WV gain acceptance formally?

Will the abbreviation WV ever gain acceptance formally? Yes and no. Its correct use depends on circumstance. The two-letter abbreviation first arose widespread as part of the United States zip code system, in which the two characters appeared as part of a string of seven -- as in the example "WV 25301" a mail code for part of Charleston, West Virginia. In this case, its use has dictates the form and, followed by the numbering system, there is less chance of misunderstanding. As part of a code, the use of WV has became widespread throughout electronic communication. Computer language and Internet searches depend far more on WV as a term. Whether or not a search will recognize W.Va. as a relevant term depends entirely on search-engine algorhythms, proprietary to the engines themselves.

The Little Graves on Barkers Ridge

Historians seek origin of "The Little Graves" on a West Virginia ridge

BASIN, W.Va. — Sharp-eyed motorists traveling Barkers Ridge in southern West Virginia may have noticed a faded sign that commemorates the burial of what...
Old Stone Church Cemetery, Lewisburg, West Virginia (WV)

Windy nights recall legend of Sam Hart and his race with the Devil

LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Windy nights such as those that sweep through the hollows in West Virginia may put residents of Lewisburg in mind of...
Forty-eight bells, include a 2.96-ton bourdon, hang in the bell tower at Concord University.

Bells at Concord University in W.Va. linked to strange phenomenon

ATHENS, W.Va. — Farmers in the countryside near Concord University in West Virginia sometimes speak of a strange winter phenomenon. When conditions are just right,...
Fireco, West Virginia, in Raleigh County, as it appeared in the 1960s.

Legend of beast resurfaces in the mountains near Fireco, West Virginia

BECKLEY, W.Va. — In almost every respect, the coal camp at Fireco was the end of the line. It was as far up the...
A wary wild turkey peers across a field in West Virginia.

Strange tales of 'Turkey Witches' weren't uncommon in early W.Va.

WITCHER CREEK, W.Va. — It wasn't long ago that country folk in West Virginia might tell tales of a turkey witch. Of all the...

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