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Abridgment and abridgement

An abridgment is a shortened rendering of a written work, a condensing of the material that keeps the tone, spirit and intent of the work intact. Usually, a written work is made into an abridgment in order to translate the material into different media such as television or audiobooks, but not always. The purpose of an abridgment might be to make the material more available to a wider audience. Older works that might be difficult for modern readers to digest is often abridged. The magazine Reader’s Digest famously distributed a line of books called Reader’s Digest Condensed Books from 1950-1997, which consisted of a number of abridgments in a monthly hardback book. Abridgment is the primary North American spelling.

An abridgement is a shortened rendering of a written work, a condensing of the material that keeps the tone, spirit and intent of the work intact. Abridgement is an alternate spelling of abridgment, mostly used in British English.


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Examples

Many of Shaw’s plays, “Widowers’ Houses” included, are a bit long-winded and profit from discreet abridgment, so Mr. Staller has also trimmed and tightened the text in order to keep the pace as brisk as possible, cutting the cast from eight to six and bringing the running time in at a hair under two hours, all to utterly pleasurable effect. (The Wall Street Journal)

Because the concerns that spurred the original bar remain as important today as when the statute was enacted, and because the statute is closely drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgment of associational freedoms, we reject the plaintiffs’ challenge. (The New Yorker)

“I worry when they arrest people for no good reason, when they have 40,000 or so people in prison and there’s clearly been an abridgement of various freedoms, such as the press and others,” he said. (Reuters)

A collection of women NGO’s, in association with a group of Agency Karayas, through a class action, attempted to overturn the FBR, at the Appeal Court on the grounds that, since the right of free movement is entrenched in the Constitution and a woman is a worker first and a mother only second, the FBR is an abridgement of a mother’s constitutional right of unhindered travel and work. (The Island)

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