Re: UK/US usage: V ac, VAC?

Subject: Re: UK/US usage: V ac, VAC?
From: Sandy Nicholson <sandy -at- ambertext -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 22:26:21 +0100

Michael wrote:

I am editing some specs for components engineered in the UK, and I am seeing the abbreviation V ac used for "volts alternating current." As a US-based tech writer I am used to seeing VAC.

Can anyone in the UK confirm that V ac is the accepted, or more commonly used, usage there?

According to New Hart's Rules (OUP), both AC and a.c. (with points) are valid abbreviations for alternating current. I've certainly come across both in the UK, although I think AC is more common. I'm not sure of the context in which you're using VAC, but if I wanted to say that some component operates at 250 volts, alternating current, I would write

250 V AC

(i.e. I wouldn't close up AC to the unit symbol, which is V).

Best wishes,

Ambertext, 2/Gf Bruntsfield Crescent, Edinburgh EH10 4EZ, Scotland
+44 (0) 131 447 9257 sandy -at- ambertext -dot- co -dot- uk
Sole proprietor: Alexander J Nicholson

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