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.Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations that are formed using the initial components in a phrase or name.^ Acronyms are abbreviations of initial letters forming words that can be pronounced.

^ Reverse acronyms, initialisms, & abbreviations dictionary.

^ No entries for abbreviation, acronym or initialism.
  • Abbreviated Forms: Abbreviatios, Acronyms, Initialisms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lists.w3.org [Source type: Reference]

.These components may be individual letters (as in CEO) or parts of words (as in Benelux).^ Pod not IPOD The word “iPod” probably isn’t an initialism (an acronym that uses only the first letter of each word), even though its origins may suggest otherwise.

^ Others differentiate between the two terms, restricting “acronym” to pronounceable words formed from the initial letters of the constituent words, and using “initialism” or “alphabetism” for abbreviations pronounced as the names of the individual letters.
  • Radar love | Upstaged | Time Out New York 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www3.timeoutny.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Just a linguistic note: an acronym is a word made from the initials, "ROM" for example, where as an initialism is just the letters read out individually, such as "SQL".
  • Can you name the computer terms by their often used acronyms/abbreviations? - sporcle 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sporcle.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of the various terms (see nomenclature), nor on written usage (see orthographic styling).^ In other wores, there is no definition.
  • GlassFish Wiki: GlassFishV3DocStyleSheet 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC wiki.glassfish.java.net [Source type: Reference]

^ The Division of Institutional Advancement presents the following style and usage guide as an aid for improving university publications and other official communication, electronic and print.
  • JSU Manual of Style and Usage 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.jsu.edu [Source type: Reference]

^ While there are no standard definitions for the following emoticons, we have supplied their most usual meanings.
  • Common Emoticons and Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.pb.org [Source type: General]

.While popular in recent English, such abbreviations have historical use in English as well as other languages.^ There are other types of abbreviations as well.
  • initialism vs. abbreviation vs. acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lyberty.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Others differentiate between the two terms, restricting “acronym” to pronounceable words formed from the initial letters of the constituent words, and using “initialism” or “alphabetism” for abbreviations pronounced as the names of the individual letters.
  • Radar love | Upstaged | Time Out New York 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www3.timeoutny.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Abbreviations using numbers for other purposes include repetitions, such as W3C ( W orld W ide W eb C onsortium ); pronunciation, such as B2B ( b usiness to b usiness ); and numeronym s, such as i18n ( i nternationalizatio n ; 18 represents the 18 letters between the initial i and the final n ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.As a type of word formation process, acronyms and initialisms are viewed as a subtype of blending.^ Sometimes this type of acronym is described as initialism.
  • Acronyms: Better writing at Bill Bennett 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC billbennett.co.nz [Source type: General]
  • Acronyms: Better writing at Bill Bennett 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC billbennett.co.nz [Source type: General]

^ All acronyms and initialisms were pronounced as a word.
  • Shortened forms on the Web - Resources - Vision Australia Website 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.visionaustralia.org.au [Source type: Reference]

^ Acronyms are spoken as a word, and initialisms are spoken as letters.
  • The Tyee — What's in an Acronym? 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC thetyee.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Contents

Nomenclature

.While the word abbreviation refers to any shortened form of a word or a phrase, some have used initialism or alphabetism to refer to an abbreviation formed simply from, and used simply as, a string of initials.^ An ABBREVIATION is a shortened form of a written word or phrase used in place of the whole word.

^ A shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole.
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ English ] In writing, an abbreviation is any shortened form of a word or phrase.
  • initialism vs. abbreviation vs. acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lyberty.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In 1943, Bell Laboratories coined the term acronym as the name for a word created from the first letters of each word in a series of words (such as sonar, created from sound navigation and ranging).^ The first printed use of the word "acronym" was only in 1943.

^ (An acronym is a word formed by the first, or first few, letters of words in a long name of an organization.

^ Contains a database of words, terms, names, and acronyms.
  • Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and Other Reference Works 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.citruscollege.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[1] .The terms initialism and alphabetism are neither widely used nor widely known.^ The > > terms initialism and alphabetism are neither widely used nor widely > > known.
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The terms initialism and alphabetism are neither widely used nor widely known.
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The > terms initialism and alphabetism are neither widely used nor widely > known.
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters.^ Acronyms are abbreviations of initial letters forming words that can be pronounced.

^ Reverse acronyms, initialisms, & abbreviations dictionary.

^ The word "acronym" is commonly used to indicate an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of the expanded word ( FBI , radar ).
  • WCAG 2.0 Double-A Conformance @ The Pickards 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.thepickards.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[2]
.Most dictionaries define acronym to mean "a word" in its original sense, [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] while some include a secondary indication of usage, attributing to acronym the same meaning as that of initialism.^ Pure backronym - happens when the original word was not previously or commonly known as an acronym or abbreviation.

^ Some acronyms represent a brand name for which the original expanded form is no longer used or is secondary to the acronym.
  • AcronymRequirements - Dita Wiki 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC wiki.oasis-open.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ They often base their conclusion on various dictionary entries considering this to be the end of the story.  The strength of the argument to replace the use of 'acronym' with 'initialism' based on the fact that some dictionaries say that an acronym has to be pronounceable, appears to be only slightly hampered by the fact that very few dictionaries recognize that 'initialism' is a word at all.
  • AcroWizard Acronym Solution 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.anvillogic.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[13][14][15] .According to the primary definition found in most dictionaries, examples of acronyms would include NATO (pronounced /ˈneɪtoʊ/), scuba (/ˈskuːbə/), and radar (/ˈreɪdɑr/), while examples of initialisms would include FBI (/ˌɛfˌbiːˈaɪ/) and HTML (/ˌeɪtʃˌtiːˌɛmˈɛl/).^ This article defines the terms "acronym" and "initialism" and gives examples of each.

^ The term Acronym was originally coined (as its etymology shows) to denote a word made of the initial parts of words (e.g NATO, radar, Comecon).
  • Re: Another critique request - HighDots Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.highdots.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronym and abbreviation dictionary: Find out what over 4,188,000 abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms stand for .
  • Government/Military - Education Resource - StudySphere 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.studysphere.com [Source type: Academic]

[9][14][16]
.There is no agreement on what to call abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and words, such as JPEG (/ˈdʒeɪpɛɡ/) and MS-DOS (/ˌɛmɛsˈdɒs/).^ Therefore, any combination of letters can be a word.
  • mental_floss Blog » Weekend Word Wrap: online acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.mentalfloss.com [Source type: General]

^ There is no agreement as to what to call abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and 'words', such as JPEG () and MS-DOS ().
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ JPEG or MS-DOS Letter acronym - same as Initial acronym or Initialisms.

.There is also some disagreement as to what to call abbreviations that some speakers pronounce as letters and others pronounce as a word.^ Acronyms are strings of initial letters (and sometimes other letters) pronounced as a word.
  • Shortened forms on the Web - Resources - Vision Australia Website 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.visionaustralia.org.au [Source type: Reference]

^ It is an abbreviation which is pronounced as a word.
  • AcroLexic: Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations - Overview 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.acrolexic.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Advanced Software for Translators and Translation Agencies - The Mystery of Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.translation3000.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronyms are abbreviations of initial letters forming words that can be pronounced.

.For example, the terms URL and IRA can be pronounced as individual letters: /ˌjuːˌɑrˈɛl] and /ˌaɪˌɑrˈeɪ/ respectively; or as a single word: /ˈɜrl/ and /ˈaɪrə/ respectively.^ Such terms present a particular challenge when selecting between "a" and "an", since they are sometimes pronounced as if they were a single word ("nay-tow", "sku-ba") and sometimes as a series of letter names ("en-eff-ell", "ess-oh-ess").
  • Lingua::EN::Inflect - search.cpan.org 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC search.cpan.org [Source type: Reference]

^ The important point here is that an acronym must be a WORD - this means that the joined initial letters must be able to be pronounced.
  • [WSG] and and worms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.mail-archive.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ An initialism is used for a word formed from the initial letters of the words (or main words) in a series of words, when the resulting word is not pronounced as a word, but as individual letters spelled out.
  • The Mavens' Word of the Day 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.randomhouse.com [Source type: Original source]

.Such constructions, however—regardless of how they are pronounced—if formed from initials, may be identified as initialisms without controversy.^ "Initialisms," such as RCMP , OECD and IDRC , do not form pronounceable words.
  • Publishing Toolbox - Acronyms, Initialisms and Other Abbreviations 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.ic.gc.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ An initialism is formed from the initial letters of a series of words and may not be pronounceable as a word.
  • http://btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chapsect1&info0=1 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC btb.termiumplus.gc.ca [Source type: Reference]

^ An ACRONYM is a word (such as radar or snafu or NASDAQ) formed from the initial letter or first few letters of a word or a series of words (example: radar comes from radio detecting and ranging).

.The term for the word-by-word reconstruction of an acronym or initialism is an expansion.^ All acronyms and initialisms were pronounced as a word.
  • Shortened forms on the Web - Resources - Vision Australia Website 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.visionaustralia.org.au [Source type: Reference]

^ An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of the words of a compound term.

^ Acronyms are spoken as a word, and initialisms are spoken as letters.
  • The Tyee — What's in an Acronym? 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC thetyee.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Comparing a few examples of each type

.
  • Pronounced as a word, containing only initial letters
    • AIDS: acquired immune deficiency syndrome
    • ASBO: Anti-Social Behaviour Order
    • NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    • Scuba: self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
  • Pronounced as a word, containing non-initial letters
    • Amphetamine: alpha-methyl-phenethylamine
    • Gestapo: Geheime Staatspolizei (secret state police)
    • Interpol: International Criminal Police Organization
    • Radar: radio detection and ranging
  • Pronounced as a word or names of letters, depending on speaker or context
    • FAQ: ([fæk] or F A Q) frequently asked questions
    • IRA:
    • SAT: ([sæt] or S A T) (previously) Scholastic Achievement (or Aptitude) Test(s), now claimed not to stand for anything.^ Radar , for example, is a word made from RAdio Detecting And Ranging.
      • Writing Matters : Getting Your Message Across - Janet Pringle 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.nald.ca [Source type: Original source]

      ^ A word formed from the initial letters of a multi-word name.

      ^ If you name the letters in order when pronouncing it, all you've got is an initialism.
      • Pet Intellectual Peeves - Page 2 - Sony Pictures 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.sonypictures.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

      [17]
    • SQL: ([siːkwəl] or S Q L) Structured Query Language.
  • Pronounced as a combination of names of letters and a word
    • CD-ROM: (C-D-[rɒm]) Compact Disc read-only memory
    • IUPAC: (I-U-[pæk]) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
    • JPEG: (J-[pɛɡ]) Joint Photographic Experts Group
    • SFMOMA: (S-F-[moʊmə]) San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Pronounced only as the names of letters
    • BBC: British Broadcasting Corporation
    • DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid
    • USA: United States of America
  • Shortcut incorporated into name
    • 3M: (three M) originally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    • : (E three) Electronic Entertainment Exposition
    • i18n: ("I eighteen N") Internationalization (18 letters between the I and N)
    • W3C: (W three C) World Wide Web Consortium
  • Multi-layered acronyms
    • NAC Breda: (Dutch football club) NOAD ADVENDO Combinatie ("NOAD ADVENDO Combination"), formed by the 1912 merger of two clubs, NOAD (Nooit Opgeven Altijd Doorgaan "Never give up, always persevere") and ADVENDO (Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning "Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation") from Breda[18][19]
    • GAIM: GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger, i.e. GIMP Tool Kit America OnLine Instant Messenger, i.e. GNU Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit America OnLine Instant Messenger, i.e. GNU's Not Unix Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit America OnLine Instant Messenger
    • PAC-3: PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 i.e., Phased Array Tracking RADAR Intercept on Target i.e., RAdio Detection And Ranging
    • VHDL: VHSIC hardware description language, where VHSIC stands for very-high-speed integrated circuit.
  • Recursive acronyms, in which the abbreviation refers to itself in the expression for which it stands:
    • GNU: GNU's not Unix!
    • LAME: LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder
    • PHP: PHP hypertext pre-processor (formerly personal home page)
    • These may go through multiple layers before the self-reference is found:
      • HURD: HIRD of Unix-replacing daemons, where "HIRD" stands for "HURD of interfaces representing depth"
  • Pseudo-acronyms consisting of a sequence of characters which, when pronounced as intended, resemble the sounds of other words:
    • CQ: "Seek you", a code used by radio operators.
    • FX: "effects", sometimes used in photo and video editing software
    • ICQ: "I seek you"
    • IOU: "I owe you"
    • K9: "Canine"
    • Q8: "Kuwait"
  • Initialisms whose last word is a noun, but which are sometimes used as adjectives and the final noun stated separately (almost always redundantly; see RAS syndrome)
    • ATM machine: automated teller machine machine
    • HIV virus: human immunodeficiency virus virus
    • IPPT test: Individual Physical Proficiency Test test
    • MAC Code : migration authorization code code
    • PIN number: personal identification number number
    • UPC code: Universal Product Code code

Historical and current use

.Acronymy, like retronymy, is a linguistic process that has existed throughout history but for which there was little to no naming, conscious attention, or systematic analysis until relatively recent times.^ There was, until recently, the marvellously appropriate: .
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Now in common parlance, there was a time not so very long ago when it simply did not exist.
  • NetNovels.com | Essays | Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC netnovels.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Armed with the knowledge that there is no such thing as Hell, two billion people around the world move quickly to make up for lost time.
  • Misc | BOOK Southern Africa 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC book.co.za [Source type: General]

.Like retronymy, it became much more common in the 20th century than it had formerly been.^ Spanish (much more common) .
  • English plural 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.gourt.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ However, that phat is more than a half century old doesn't mean the word stayed in constant use during that span.
  • snopes.com: Etymology of Phat 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.snopes.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ During the mid-20th century, when such abbreviations became increasingly common, the word “acronym” was coined for abbreviations pronounced as words, such as NATO and AIDS. Of the names, “acronym” is the most frequently used and known; many use it to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters.
  • Radar love | Upstaged | Time Out New York 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www3.timeoutny.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Ancient examples of acronymy (regardless of whether there was metalanguage at the time to describe it) include the following:
.
  • Initialisms were used in Rome before the Christian era.^ Initialisms are known to have been used in Rome dating back even earlier than the Christian era.
    • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

    ^ The correct form of the indefinite article ( a or an ) to use before acronyms and initialisms is determined by the consonant or vowel sound of the initial syllable, letter or number.
    • http://btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chapsect1&info0=1 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC btb.termiumplus.gc.ca [Source type: Reference]

    ^ TOP using "a" or "an" before acronyms and initialisms and before certain sounds .
    • English hints, rady Jazyky - languages - slovn�ky, gramatika, testy - angli�tina, n�m�ina, ... 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lang.jannemec.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    .For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus).
  • The early Christians in Rome used the image of a fish as a symbol for Jesus in part because of an acronym—fish in Greek is ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys), which was said to stand for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός Θεοῦ Υἱός Σωτήρ (Iesous CHristos THeou (h) Uios Soter: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior).^ (For example, the ISO officially proclaims that "ISO" is not an abbreviation.
    • WebAIM: E-mail List Archives 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.webaim.org [Source type: General]

    ^ For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus).
    • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ For example, the official name for the Roman Empire (and the Republic before it) was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus), showing a clear precedent.
    • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

    .Evidence of this interpretation dates from the 2nd and 3rd centuries and is preserved in the catacombs of Rome.^ Evidence of this interpretation dates from the 2nd and 3rd centuries and is preserved in the catacombs of Rome.
    • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

    .And for centuries, the Church has used the inscription INRI over the crucifix, which stands for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum ("Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews").
  • The Hebrew language has a long history of formation of acronyms pronounced as words, stretching back many centuries.^ So how many people pronounce IT as the word "it"?
    • Re: Another critique request - HighDots Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.highdots.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ Q: Don’t acronyms have to be pronounceable as words?

    ^ TSOR: Useful concept, pronounceable acronym!
    • Lorem Ipsum: TSOR 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.kith.org [Source type: General]

    .The Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") is known as "Tanakh", an acronym composed from the Hebrew initial letters of its three major sections: Torah (five books of Moses), Nevi'im (prophets), and K'tuvim (writings).^ Three-letter acronym Translations .
    • Three-letter acronym definition by Babylon's free dictionary 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC dictionary.babylon.com [Source type: Reference]

    ^ ETLA: Extended three letter acronym.
    • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

    ^ TLA - Three Letter Acronym - really!
    • Technology Customer Services 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.utdallas.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    Many rabbinical figures from the Middle Ages onward are referred to in rabbinical literature by their pronounced acronyms, such as Rambam (aka Maimonides, from the initial letters of his full Hebrew name (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) and Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzkhaki).
.During the mid to late 19th century, an initialism-disseminating meme spread through the American and European business communities: abbreviating corporation names in places where space was limited for writing—such as on the sides of railroad cars (e.g., Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad → RF&P); on the sides of barrels and crates; and on ticker tape and in the small-print newspaper stock listings that got their data from it (e.g., American Telephone and Telegraph Company → AT&T).^ Others differentiate between the two terms, restricting acronym to pronounceable words formed from the initial letters of each of the constituent words, and using initialism or alphabetism for abbreviations pronounced as the names of the individual letters.
  • LE Acronym Dictionary? [Archive] - Police Forums & Law Enforcement Forums @ Officer.com 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC forums.officer.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ And in some cases, that has led to even more bizarre abbreviations such as DFCU Financial Credit Union (which if in turn were initialized would be DFCUFCU) and SOFCU Community Credit Union (which, if initialized would become SOFCUCCU).
  • Credit Union acronyms totally harsh my mellow « EverythingCU.com World 2.0 Adventure 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC everythingcu.wordpress.com [Source type: Original source]

^ We have a series of recently created abbreviations especially with the advent of telecommunication companies in the field of mobile telephony such as MTN, Vmobile, Glo, MTS. All these have become household names without anyone caring to know what they stand for; they are simply brand names of telephone companies.
  • Dealing with Abbreviations In Translation 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC translationjournal.net [Source type: Academic]

.Some well-known commercial examples dating from the 1890s through 1920s include Nabisco (National Biscuit Company),[20] Esso (from S.O., from Standard Oil), and Sunoco (Sun Oil Company).^ More important, there’s something here about blogging that I’ve never been able to cope with: if I cite some well-known phenomenon and list what I expressly say are just a few examples of it, people will write with more, as if I’d neglected to mention them.
  • Initialistic avoidance « Arnold Zwicky's Blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC arnoldzwicky.wordpress.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Examples include ASAP (as soon as possible), CPU (central processing unit), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board).
  • Martin Tulic, Book indexing - About indexing - Abbreviations 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.anindexer.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ You should include acronyms in identifiers only when they are widely known and well understood.
  • Capitalization Conventions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC msdn.microsoft.com [Source type: Reference]
  • Capitalization Conventions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC msdn.microsoft.com [Source type: Reference]

.The widespread, frequent use of acronyms and initialisms across the whole range of registers is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon in most languages, becoming increasingly evident since the mid-20th century.^ The use of abbreviations is a relatively new linguistics phenomenon.
  • Dealing with Abbreviations In Translation 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC translationjournal.net [Source type: Academic]

^ In the English language, the widespread use of acronyms, initialisms, and contractions is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon, having become most popular in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ However, there is no initialism element type in HTML, and the confusion is exacerbated by the fact that "acronym" in normal American parlance is used as a synonym for "initialism".
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Adur District Council : Glossary 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adur.gov.uk [Source type: Academic]
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Adur District Council : Glossary 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adurdc.gov.uk [Source type: Academic]

.As literacy rates rose, and as advances in science and technology brought with them a constant stream of new (and sometimes more complex) terms and concepts, the practice of abbreviating terms became increasingly convenient.^ As literacy rates rose, and as sciences and technologies advanced, bringing with them more complicated terms and concepts, the practice of abbreviating terms became increasingly convenient.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Eventually, you will notice that simple terms have a tendency to expand into complex ones in order to designate more and more subordinated concepts (for example, control, controller, graphics controller, AGP30-compliant graphics controller), until finally the complex terms contract into abbreviations (for example, AGP30 means Advanced Graphic Port-30; KBMS means Knowledge-Based Management System), some of which become simple terms (for example, radar).
  • Research Principles - 2.5. Term Creation and Terminological Relationships - Terminology Tutorial 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.termium.com [Source type: Reference]

^ This results from the proliferation of information, and the constant development of new and expanding generic and proprietary technologies.
  • Acronyms Master - Creates Tables of Acronyms for your MS Word documents 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronyms-master.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) records the first printed use of the word initialism as occurring in 1899, but it did not come into general use until 1965, well after acronym had become common.^ Acronyms and initialisms are generally used as if they are words.
  • English plural 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.gourt.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The word acronym first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary as late as 1943.
  • AOPA Online: AOPA Pilot - 40 Top Technologies: Trivia 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.aopa.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Though initialism is an older word, attested from 1899 according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it did not come into widespread usage until the 1960s.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Around 1943, the term acronym was coined to recognize abbreviations and contractions of phrases pronounced as words.^ An acronym is an abbreviation that forms a word.
  • What is acronym? - Definition from Whatis.com - see also: apronym, backronym, recursive acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC searchcio-midmarket.techtarget.com [Source type: Reference]

^ Acronyms are words created from abbreviations.
  • Keepin' it real fake, part LIX: Sony nano sure to be a hit -- Engadget 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.engadget.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It is an abbreviation which is pronounced as a word.
  • AcroLexic: Dictionary of Acronyms and Abbreviations - Overview 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.acrolexic.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Advanced Software for Translators and Translation Agencies - The Mystery of Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.translation3000.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[20] (It was formed from the Greek words ἄκρος, akros, "topmost, extreme" and ὄνομα, onoma, "name.") For example, the army offense of being absent without official leave was abbreviated to "A.W.O.L." in reports, but when pronounced as a word ('awol'), it became an acronym.[21] .While initial letters are commonly used to form an acronym, the original definition was a word made from the initial letters or syllables of other words,[22] for example UNIVAC from UNIVersal Automatic Computer.^ The term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation > > > formed from initial letters."
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronym (morphology) a word composed of the initial characters of other words.
  • Abbreviated Forms: Abbreviatios, Acronyms, Initialisms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lists.w3.org [Source type: Reference]

^ A to Z of commonly used abbreviations and acronyms .
  • Adur District Council : Glossary 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adur.gov.uk [Source type: Academic]
  • Adur District Council : Glossary 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adurdc.gov.uk [Source type: Academic]

[23]
.In English, acronyms pronounced as words may be a 20th-century phenomenon.^ And acronym must be pronouncable, like a word.
  • mental_floss Blog » 7 False Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.mentalfloss.com [Source type: General]

^ An acronym is pronounceable as a word.
  • Keepin' it real fake, part LIX: Sony nano sure to be a hit -- Engadget 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.engadget.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ All acronyms and initialisms were pronounced as a word.
  • Shortened forms on the Web - Resources - Vision Australia Website 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.visionaustralia.org.au [Source type: Reference]

.Linguist David Wilton in Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends claims that "forming words from acronyms is a distinctly twentieth- (and now twenty-first-) century phenomenon.^ An acronym is an abbreviation that forms a word.
  • What is acronym? - Definition from Whatis.com - see also: apronym, backronym, recursive acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC searchcio-midmarket.techtarget.com [Source type: Reference]

^ An Acronym is a word formed from the first letters of other words, e.g., NASA. .
  • Glossary | San Francisco Carbon Collaborative 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.carboncollaborative.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ "An acronym is a pronounceable word formed from each of the first letters of a descriptive phrase.
  • Pedantry - davblog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC blog.dave.org.uk [Source type: General]

.There is only one known pre-twentieth-century [English] word with an acronymic origin and it was in vogue for only a short time in 1886. The word is colinderies or colinda, an acronym for the Colonial and Indian Exposition held in London in that year."^ In a practise that only lasted one year, university accounts were assigned by combining a 3-character program code with your initials.
  • User:Chejrw - XgenWiki 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.chejrw.com [Source type: General]

^ The limitations of the term being not widely known to the general public, acronym is also often applied to abbreviations that are familiar but are not pronounceable as words.
  • �˂��߂��ɂ����i2001�N10�����{����2�j 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.remus.dti.ne.jp [Source type: Academic]

^ English language (Featured Article) Scholar David Crystal examines the origin, evolution, and spread of the 21st century's lingua franca.
  • Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.britannica.com [Source type: General]

[24][25]

Early examples in English

.
  • The use of Latin and Neo-Latin terms in vernaculars has been pan-European and predates modern English.^ Again, use English instead of Latin abbreviations.
    • Spelling Mysteries--Solved! 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.protrainco.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
    • Spelling Mysteries--Solved! 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC pages.swcp.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ Latin and Greek words were being adapted in the European vernaculars as scientific and technological terms, e.g.
    • Word-formation: some things to consider 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.chass.utoronto.ca [Source type: Original source]

    ^ Because English includes words from so many ancestral languages, as well as many loanword s from Latin , Classical Greek and modern languages, there are many other forms of plurals.
    • English plural 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.gourt.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    .Some examples of initialisms in this class are:
    • A.M. (from Latin ante meridiem, "before noon") and P.M. (from Latin post meridiem, "after noon")
    • A.D. (from Latin Anno Domini, "in the year of our Lord") (whose complement in English, B.C. [Before Christ], is English-sourced)
  • O.K., a term of disputed origin, dating back at least to the early 19th century, now used around the world
  • n.g., for "no good," from 1838, nowadays commonly expanded to "nbg" (no bloody good); see also NFG
  • The etymology of the word alphabet itself comes to Middle English from the Late Latin Alphabetum, which in turn derives from the Ancient Greek Alphabetos, from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.^ Some English words are borrowed from other languages, such as Latin and Greek.
    • Spelling Mysteries--Solved! 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.protrainco.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
    • Spelling Mysteries--Solved! 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC pages.swcp.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ It is a derived Greek word, from isos , equal.
    • Pro Audio Reference I 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.rane.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ Initialisms include only the first letter of each word.
    • Acronyms, Abbreviations, and BBC News « Pain in the English 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC painintheenglish.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    [26] Colloquially, learning the alphabet is called learning one's ABCs.

Current use

.Acronyms and initialisms are used most often to abbreviate names of organizations and long or frequently referenced terms.^ Reverse acronyms, initialisms, & abbreviations dictionary.

^ AAIs abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms .
  • Y-12 National Security Complex » Library » Browse Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.y12.doe.gov [Source type: Academic]

^ Full name to initials used as heading ...
  • Cross References in InnoPac 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC tpot.ucsd.edu [Source type: Reference]

.The armed forces and government agencies frequently employ initialisms (and occasionally, acronyms); some well-known examples from the United States are among the "alphabet agencies" created by Franklin D. Roosevelt under the New Deal.^ In AACR2, the first example, United States.
  • Corporate name quiz answers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.library.yale.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some common acronyms (and initialisms) include: .
  • Acronyms and Initialisms: EnchantedLearning.com 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.zoomschool.com [Source type: General]

^ The armed forces and government agencies frequently employ initialisms (and occasionally, acronyms) (some well-known examples from the USA are among the "alphabet agencies" created by Franklin D. Roosevelt under the New Deal).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Business and industry also are prolific coiners of acronyms and initialisms.^ Business and industry also are prolific coiners of acronyms and initialisms.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronym finder Car acronyms Business acronyms Computer acronym, initials and abbreviations Media acronym, initials and abbreviations What does NBC stand for?

^ There are different categories of Acronyms, Initials and Abbreviations which can be categorised under headings such as: Acronyms, letters and Abbreviations - Car acronyms Acronyms, letters and Abbreviations - Business acronyms Acronyms, letters and Abbreviations - Computer acronym Acronyms, letters and Abbreviations - Media acronym Acronyms, letters and Abbreviations - Product acronyms or Trademarks .

.The rapid advance of science and technology in recent centuries seems to be an underlying force driving the usage, as new inventions and concepts with multiword names create a demand for shorter, more manageable names.^ As literacy rates rose, and as sciences and technologies advanced, bringing with them more complicated terms and concepts, the practice of abbreviating terms became increasingly convenient.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ The growth in literacy and the proliferation of the printed word in the 19th century created a much more fertile environment for all sorts of abbreviations.
  • National CrossTalk -- Vol. 8 / No. 1 -- Winter 2000 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.highereducation.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ "Best management practices" is based in the concept that there are techniques, methods, processes which are more effective than others at producing a desired outcome.
  • www.illinoislighting.org - Terms Used in Lighting Analysis 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC illinoislighting.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.One representative example, from the U.S. Navy, is COMCRUDESPAC, which stands for commander, cruisers destroyers Pacific; it's also seen as "ComCruDesPac". "YABA-compatible" (where YABA stands for "yet another bloody acronym") is used to mean that a term's acronym can be pronounced but is not an offensive word (e.g., "When choosing a new name, be sure it is "YABA-compatible").^ The only acronyms that really annoy me are those that are stand-ins for words people wouldn’t otherwise use publicly.
  • ACRONYMS: Could we use them less and more responsibly? - Site Talk - Chowhound 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC chowhound.chow.com [Source type: General]

^ On one widowhood board it seems that every thread has someone using the term "DGI" while every other thread has someone asking what "DGI" means.
  • Acronym-users, why do you do it? - Straight Dope Message Board 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.straightdope.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Apostrophes are sometimes used to make acronyms or other abbreviations plural (another matter of a local house style ).
  • Get into Uni | Free Features - Grammar And Style - Grammar A 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.getintouni.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[27]
.The use of initialisms has been further popularized with the emergence of Short Message Systems (SMS).^ In the English language, the widespread use of acronyms, initialisms, and contractions is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon, having become most popular in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Currently OSCAR is in use for AOL's two main instant messaging systems ICQ and AIM .
  • Institution of Analysts and Programmers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.iap.org.uk [Source type: Reference]

^ A numeral system with a radix, or base of 16 The Hexadecimal numeral system, or Hex for short, is the base-16 number system, and uses the symbols 09 and AF, or af.
  • Institution of Analysts and Programmers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.iap.org.uk [Source type: Reference]

.In order to fit messages into the 160-Character limit of SMS, initialisms such as "GF" (girl friend), "LOL" (laughing out loud), and "DL" (download) have been popularized into the mainstream.^ LOL: Laughing out Loud.
  • TechSideline.com: Message Board Acronyms and Terms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.techsideline.com [Source type: General]

^ It's meant as a replacement for Laughing Out Loud.
  • xkcd • View topic - "Decline" Discussion 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC forums.xkcd.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It has long been thought that teen instant messages contained abbreviations (such as LOL for "laughing out loud" and MAIBARP for "my acne is becoming a real problem"), short forms (such as L8R for "later" and R2D2 for "R2D2"), and slang (such as whassup for "what's up" and yo for "Hello, I am pleased to meet your acquaintance.
  • Lingua Techna 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC mcfedries.com [Source type: General]

[28] .Although prescriptivist disdain for such neologism is fashionable, and can be useful when the goal is protecting message receivers from crypticness, it is scientifically groundless when couched as preserving the "purity" or "legitimacy" of language; this neologism is merely the latest instance of a perennial linguistic principle—the same one that in the 19th century prompted the aforementioned abbreviation of corporation names in places where space for writing was limited (e.g., ticker tape, newspaper column inches).^ Do not use abbreviations such as cc or cu .
  • http://btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chapsect1&info0=1 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC btb.termiumplus.gc.ca [Source type: Reference]

^ The two are often taken as being the same, but they do differ - an abbreviation is merely where a phrase has been abbreviated (so British Broadcasting Corporation is usually abbreviated to BBC).
  • The semantics of uppercase - Neil Turner's blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.neilturner.me.uk [Source type: General]

^ Although acronyms can be found dating back almost as far as abbreviations, their widespread use is a 20th century...
  • INITIALISM – FREE INITIALISM information | Encyclopedia.com: Find INITIALISM research 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.encyclopedia.com [Source type: Academic]

Jargon

.Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon.^ Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Jargon Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Here's a look at some of the latest jargon, slang and acronym-initialism-hybrids.
  • Aunt Millie goes to Bagel Land, and more jargon - Denver Business Journal: 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC denver.bizjournals.com [Source type: News]

.An initialism may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship.^ An initialism may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Anyways, it tends to be confusing, especially when you cross over into other areas outside of IT. Sometimes acronyms cross paths and may mean one thing in one industry, but may totally be different in another industry.
  • Overcoming Obstacles Getting My Work Done - Over-reliance on TLA's makes me PDP!! 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.tek-tips.com [Source type: General]

^ Here, confusion may be encouraged by different but related applications of the same terms by different people: acronym and initialism , subconscious and unconscious .
  • CONFUSIBLE – FREE CONFUSIBLE information | Encyclopedia.com: Find CONFUSIBLE research 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.encyclopedia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The general reason for this is convenience and succinctness for specialists, although it has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed.^ This has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ The general reason for this is convenience and succinctness for specialists, although it has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed Punctuation [edit] Other conventions When a multiple-letter abbreviation is formed from a single word, periods are generally not used, although they may be common in informal usage.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronyms can even create words or names that didn't previously exist such as SCUBA which is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
  • tivo - Gizmodo 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC gizmodo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC gizmodo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The medical literature has been struggling to control the proliferation of acronyms as their use has evolved from aiding communication to hindering it.^ Desktop instrument which aids you look up the expansion of a personal computer acronym, abbreviation or initialism making use of an offline...

^ Acronyms and Initials Index Used in Instrumentation, Controls and on the Net Readout acknowledges the list published by the The Institute of Measurement and Control in the Instrument Engineer's Yearbook which forms the original basis for this list.
  • The Read-Out Instrumentation Signpost: Acronyms and Initials 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC read-out.net [Source type: Academic]

^ In internal solutions where both sides of the communication can be controlled a custom solution using sockets and a lightweight protocol is often a better alternative.
  • Weblogs Forum - Web Services? What has the industry been smoking? 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.artima.com [Source type: General]

.This has become such a problem that it is even evaluated at the level of medical academies such as the American Academy of Dermatology.^ AAD American Academy of Dermatology .
  • SBF Glossary: A to AAZV 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ AADEP American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians .
  • SBF Glossary: A to AAZV 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ (No, no, not the ``American Academy of Poets'' -- there is no such organization.
  • SBF Glossary: A to AAZV 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[29]

Acronyms as legendary etymology

.It is not uncommon for acronyms to be cited in a kind of false etymology, called a folk etymology, for a word.^ But some people just call them all abbreviations , though there’s a tendency to use acronym instead, as being a more important-sounding word.

^ The belief that it originated as an acronym deriving from the names of Charles II's lieutenants is an erroneous folk etymology.
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Unlike other kinds of abbreviations, acronyms are pronounceable words.
  • Jonathon Delacour: Questions asked, and answered 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC weblog.delacour.net [Source type: General]

.Such etymologies persist in popular culture but have no factual basis in historical linguistics, and are examples of language-related urban legends.^ In the English language, the widespread use of acronyms, initialisms, and contractions is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon, having become most popular in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ It may seem a silly question, but he points out that most other subjects (i.e., geology, linguistics, algebra) do not have such deep and persistent disagreements.
  • The Buck Stops Here: 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.stuartbuck.blogspot.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ CATACHRESIS Book article from: Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language ...Confusion over such words can persist for centuries and is a popular topic in usage books and letters to editors.
  • CONFUSIBLE – FREE CONFUSIBLE information | Encyclopedia.com: Find CONFUSIBLE research 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.encyclopedia.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

For example, cop is commonly cited as being supposedly derived from "constable on patrol,"[citation needed] posh from "port out, starboard home",[30] and golf from "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden".[30][31] Taboo words in particular commonly have such false etymologies: shit from "ship/store high in transit"[32] or "special high-intensity training" and fuck from "for unlawful carnal knowledge", or "fornication under carnal knowledge".[32]

Orthographic styling

Punctuation

Showing the ellipsis of letters

.Traditionally, in English, abbreviations have been written with a full stop/period/point in place of the deleted part to show the ellipsis of letters, although the colon and apostrophe have also had this role.^ Abbreviations have been written using a period to mark the part that was deleted.
  • Dealing with Abbreviations In Translation 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC translationjournal.net [Source type: Academic]

^ Traditionally, in English, abbreviations have been written with a full stop/period/point in place of the deleted part, although the colon and apostrophe have also had this role.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Originally Posted by Chicago Manual of Style To avoid unnecessary periods in abbreviations, Chicago recommends the following general guidelines: use periods with abbreviations that appear in lowercase letters; use no periods with abbreviations that appear in full capitals or small capitals, whether two letters or more.
  • Acronyms etc - uppercase or lowercase? - Page 3 - SitePoint Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In the case of most acronyms and initialisms, each letter is an abbreviation of a separate word and, in theory, should get its own termination mark.^ Reverse acronyms, initialisms, & abbreviations dictionary.

^ AAIs abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms .
  • Y-12 National Security Complex » Library » Browse Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.y12.doe.gov [Source type: Academic]

^ No entries for abbreviation, acronym or initialism.
  • Abbreviated Forms: Abbreviatios, Acronyms, Initialisms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lists.w3.org [Source type: Reference]

.Such punctuation is diminishing with the belief that the presence of all-capital letters is sufficient to indicate that the word is an abbreviation.^ All letters in the identifier are capitalized.
  • Capitalization Conventions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC msdn.microsoft.com [Source type: Reference]
  • Capitalization Conventions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC msdn.microsoft.com [Source type: Reference]

^ Avoid all-capital letters.
  • Article: A Modest Wish List for Legal Writing 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.michbar.org [Source type: Original source]

^ IMO, you should capitalize every letter of an abbreviated word..
  • SubMain Community - Capitalization questions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC community.submain.com [Source type: General]

Ellipsis-is-understood style
.Some influential style guides, such as that of the BBC, no longer require punctuation to show ellipsis; some even proscribe it.^ Some influential style guides, such as that of the BBC , no longer require punctuation, or even proscribe it.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ This usage is becoming less common as the presence of all capital letters is sufficient to indicate the word is an abbreviation; nevertheless some influential American style guides still insist on the many-periods treatment, such as the one used by The New York Times (which recommends periods after ...

^ And so on for the various CC licenses , such as CC-BY for "by" or attribution; CC-NC for no commercial use; CC-ND for no derivative works; CC-SA for share-alike; and some combinations like CC-BY-NC-ND and CC-BY-NC-SA .
  • Acronyms - OAD 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC oad.simmons.edu [Source type: Academic]

.Larry Trask, American author of The Penguin Guide to Punctuation, states categorically that, in British English, "this tiresome and unnecessary practice is now obsolete",[33] though some other sources are not so absolute in their pronouncements.^ Larry Trask, American author of The Penguin Guide to Punctuation , states categorically that, in British English , "this tiresome and unnecessary practice is now obsolete," [3] though some other sources are not so absolute in their pronouncements.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Because English words come from many sources, some of them look similar to other words.

^ Questions of style and usage not addressed here should be answered by consulting The Chicago Manual of Style , the United States Government Printing Office Style Manual, any specialized sources cited within, or a recent standard dictionary of American English.
  • NJDOT Specification Style Guidelines 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.nj.gov [Source type: Reference]

Pronunciation-dependent style
.Nevertheless, some influential style guides, many of them American, still require periods in certain instances.^ Nevertheless, some influential style guides, many of them American, still require periods in certain instances.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ However, this usage is becoming less common as the presence of all capital letters is sufficient to indicate the word is an abbreviation; however, some influential usage guides insist on the many-periods treatment, such as the one used by the New York Times.

^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.For example, The New York Times’ guide recommends following each segment with a period when the letters are pronounced individually, as in K.G.B., but not when pronounced as a word, as in NATO.^ The New York Times ’ guide recommends separating each segment with a period when the letters are pronounced individually, as in K.G.B. , but not when pronounced as a word, as in NATO .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ An acronym is pronounced as a word (for example, WIC); an initialism is pronounced as its letters (for example, NCRX).
  • NC DHHS: Website Style Guide Appendix 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.ncdhhs.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ An acronym is pronounceable as an individual word, and can come from the initial letters or syllables .

[34] The logic of this style is that the pronunciation is reflected graphically by the punctuation scheme.
Other conventions
.When a multiple-letter abbreviation is formed from a single word, periods are generally not used, although they may be common in informal usage.^ When a multiple-letter abbreviation is formed from a single word, periods are generally proscribed, although they may be common in informal, personal usage.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ They are formed by using the initial letters of words.
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.esldrive.com [Source type: Original source]

^ A word formed by using the first letters of a name.
  • Re: Another critique request - HighDots Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.highdots.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.TV, for example, may stand for a single word (television or transvestite, for instance), and is generally spelled without punctuation (except in the plural).^ TV , for example, may stand for a single word ( television or transvestite , for instance), and is generally spelled without punctuation (except in the plural).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ TV, for example, may stand for a single word (television or transvestite, for instance), and is generally spelled without punctuation (except in the plural).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It may be a shortened spelling of a word, an abbreviation.

.Although PS stands for the single word postscript (or the Latin postscriptum), it is often spelled with periods (P.S.).^ Although PS stands for the single word postscript (or the Latin postscriptum ), it is often spelled with periods ( P.S. ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Although PS stands for the single word postscript (or the Latin postscriptum), it is often spelled with periods (P.S.).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Sign In to E-Mail or Save This Print Single Page Reprints Published: March 6, 2007 (Page 10 of 13) "If a spelling misrepresents the foreign word or name, we change it.
  • Merrill Perlman -- Talk to the Newsroom -- The New York Times -- Reader Questions and Answers - New York Times 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.nytimes.com [Source type: News]

The slash ('/', a.k.a. virgule) is sometimes used to show the ellipsis of letters, for instance in the initialisms .N/A (not applicable, not available) and w/o (without).^ N/A (not applicable, not available) and w/o (without).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Inconveniently long words used frequently in related contexts can be represented according to their letter count.^ Inconveniently long words used frequently in related contexts can be represented according to their letter count.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It’s not three letters representing 3 words.
  • Watching Your Web Language 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: General]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.i18n, for example, abbreviates internationalization, a computer-science term for adapting software for worldwide use.^ Can you name the computer terms by their often used acronyms/abbreviations?
  • Can you name the computer terms by their often used acronyms/abbreviations? - sporcle 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sporcle.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ As literacy rates rose, and as sciences and technologies advanced, bringing with them more complicated terms and concepts, the practice of abbreviating terms became increasingly convenient.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ AcronymGenie is a simple desktop program that lets you look up the expansion of a computer acronym, abbreviation or initialism using an offline database.
  • smileys - download tag - Page 1 - Free download - soft82.com 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.soft82.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The 18 represents the 18 letters that come between the first and the last in internationalization.^ The 18 represents the 18 letters that come between the first and the last in internationalization.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Abbreviations using numbers for other purposes include repetitions, such as W3C ( W orld W ide W eb C onsortium ); pronunciation, such as B2B ( b usiness to b usiness ); and numeronym s, such as i18n ( i nternationalizatio n ; 18 represents the 18 letters between the initial i and the final n ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Contractions consist of the first and last letters of a word and sometimes other letters in between.
  • Shortened forms on the Web - Resources - Vision Australia Website 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.visionaustralia.org.au [Source type: Reference]

.Localization can be abbreviated l10n, multilingualization m17n, and accessibility a11y.^ Localization can be abbreviated l10n, multilingualization m17n, and accessibility a11y.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In addition to the use of a specific number replacing that amount of letters, the more general "x" can be used to replace an unspecified number of letters (e.g.^ In addition to the use of a specific number replacing that amount of letters, the more general "x" can be used to replace an unspecified number of letters (e.g.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Simply type the first few letters of the acronym or abbreviation you are looking for and the list of acronyms will narrow down to a more specific list until you have a ...
  • Free software downloads - Freeware and shareware software for Computer subcategory 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC software.prerouting.com [Source type: Reference]

^ Short way to write two words as one by writing the two words together, leaving out one or more letters and replacing the missing letters by an apostrophe.
  • Styling Abbreviations and Acronyms | HTMLPrimer 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.htmlprimer.com [Source type: Reference]

Crxn for crystallization).

Representing plurals and possessives

.The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of ’s (for example, Bs come after As) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way.^ Representing plurals and possessives The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of ’s (for example, B’s come after A’s) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of ’s (for example, B ’ s come after A ’ s ) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.^ Note that all such subroutines expect the singular form of the word.
  • Lingua::EN::Inflect - search.cpan.org 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC search.cpan.org [Source type: Reference]

^ Plural abbreviations and acronyms .
  • Accessify Forum: Plural abbreviations and acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.accessifyforum.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ However, some of them do have singular adjective forms, such as in billiard ball .
  • English plural 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.gourt.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.However, it has become common among many writers to inflect initialisms as ordinary words, using simple s, without an apostrophe, for the plural.^ However, it has become common among many writers to inflect initialisms as ordinary words, using simple s, without an apostrophe, for the plural.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ However, it has become common among many writers to inflect initialisms as ordinary words, using simple s , without an apostrophe, for the plural.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ (Take care not to use too many initialisms.

.In this case, compact discs becomes CDs.^ In this case, compact discs becomes CDs .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In this case, compact discs becomes CDs.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The logic here is that the apostrophe should be restricted to possessives: for example, the CD’s label (the label of the compact disc).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The logic here is that the apostrophe should be restricted to possessives: for example, the CD’s label (the label of the compact disc).^ The logic here is that the apostrophe should be restricted to possessives: for example, the CD’s label (the label of the compact disc).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In this case, compact discs becomes CDs .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In this case, compact discs becomes CDs.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[35]
.Multiple options arise when initialisms are spelled with periods and are pluralized: for example, whether compact discs may become C.D.’s, C.D.s, CD’s, or CDs.^ In this case, compact discs becomes CDs .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Multiple options arise when initialisms are spelled with periods and are pluralized: for example, whether compact discs may become C.D.’s, C.D.s, CD’s, or CDs.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In this case, compact discs becomes CDs.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Possessive plurals that also include apostrophes for mere pluralization and periods appear especially complex: for example, the C.D.’s’ labels (the labels of the compact discs).^ The logic here is that the apostrophe should be restricted to possessives: for example, the CD’s label (the label of the compact disc).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Possessive plurals that also include apostrophes for mere pluralization and periods appear especially complex: for example, the C.D.’s’ labels (the labels of the compact discs).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Possessive plurals that also include apostrophes for mere pluralization and periods may appear especially complex: for example, the C.D.’s’ labels (the labels of the compact discs).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.This as yet another reason to use apostrophes only for possessives and not for plurals.^ This as yet another reason to use apostrophes only for possessives and not for plurals.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some see this as yet another reason to use apostrophes only for possessives and not for plurals.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ (In The New York Times , the plural possessive of G.I. , which the newspaper prints with periods in reference to United States Army soldiers, is G.I.’s , with no apostrophe after the s .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.In some instances, however, an apostrophe may increase clarity: for example, if the final letter of an abbreviation is S, as in SOS’s, or when pluralizing an abbreviation that has periods.^ In some instances, however, an apostrophe may increase clarity: for example, if the final letter of an abbreviation is S, as in SOS’s, or when pluralizing an abbreviation that has periods.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Representing plurals and possessives The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of ’s (for example, B’s come after A’s) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

[36][37] .(In The New York Times, the plural possessive of G.I., which the newspaper prints with periods in reference to United States Army soldiers, is G.I.’s, with no apostrophe after the s.^ No apostrophe when writing the plural: IDs .
  • JSU Manual of Style and Usage 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.jsu.edu [Source type: Reference]

^ (In The New York Times, the plural possessive of G.I., which the newspaper prints with periods in reference to United States Army soldiers, is G.I.’s, with no apostrophe after the s.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ (In The New York Times , the plural possessive of G.I. , which the newspaper prints with periods in reference to United States Army soldiers, is G.I.’s , with no apostrophe after the s .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

)
.A particularly rich source of options arises when the plural of an initialism would normally be indicated in a word other than the final word if spelled out in full.^ A particularly rich source of options arises when the plural of an initialism would normally be indicated in a word other than the final word if spelled out in full.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Certain abbreviations are spelled-out by some, and read as words by others.
  • Web Standards Group - Ten Questions for Tommy Olsson 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC webstandardsgroup.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Just a linguistic note: an acronym is a word made from the initials, "ROM" for example, where as an initialism is just the letters read out individually, such as "SQL".
  • Can you name the computer terms by their often used acronyms/abbreviations? - sporcle 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sporcle.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.A classic example is Member of Parliament, which in plural is Members of Parliament.^ A classic example is Member of Parliament, which in plural is Members of Parliament.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

It is possible then to abbreviate this as M’s P.[38][39] (or similar[40]), as famously by a former Australian Prime Minister..December 2008" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed] This usage is less common than forms with s at the end, such as MPs, and may appear dated or pedantic.^ This usage is less common than forms with s at the end, such as MPs, and may appear dated or pedantic.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This usage is becoming less common as the presence of all capital letters is sufficient to indicate the word is an abbreviation; nevertheless some influential American style guides still insist on the many-periods treatment, such as the one used by The New York Times (which recommends periods after ...

^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The argument that initialisms should have no different plural form (for example, "If D can stand for disc, it can also stand for discs") is generally disregarded because of the practicality in distinguishing singulars and plurals.^ The argument that initialisms should have no different plural form (for example, "If D can stand for disc , it can also stand for disc s ") is generally disregarded because of the practicality in distinguishing singulars and plurals.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ The argument that initialisms should have no different plural form (for example, "If D can stand for disc, it can also stand for discs") is generally disregarded because of the practicality in distinguishing singulars and plurals.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some nouns have no singular form.
  • English plural 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.gourt.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This is not the case, however, when the abbreviation is understood to describe a plural noun already: for example, U.S. is short for United States, but not United State.^ This is not the case, however, when the abbreviation is understood to describe a plural noun already: for example, U.S. is short for United States, but not United State.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In AACR2, the first example, United States.
  • Corporate name quiz answers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.library.yale.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This is not the case, however, when the abbreviation is understood to describe a plural noun already: for example, U.S. is short for United State s , but not United State .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.In this case, the options for making a possessive form of an abbreviation that is already in its plural form without a final s may seem awkward: for example, U.S.’, U.S.’s, etc.^ In this case, the options for making a possessive form of an abbreviation that is already in its plural form without a final s may seem awkward: for example, U.S.’, U.S.’s, etc.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ PL_V($;$) The exportable subroutine PL_V() takes the singular form of a conjugated verb (that is, one which is already in the correct "person" and "mood") and returns the corresponding plural conjugation.
  • Lingua::EN::Inflect - search.cpan.org 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC search.cpan.org [Source type: Reference]

.In such instances, possessive abbreviations are often foregone in favor of simple attributive usage (for example, the U.S. economy) or expanding the abbreviation to its full form and then making the possessive (for example, the United States’ economy).^ In such instances, possessive abbreviations are often foregone in favor of simple attributive usage (for example, the U.S. economy ) or expanding the abbreviation to its full form and then making the possessive (for example, the United States economy ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In such instances, possessive abbreviations are often foregone in favor of simple attributive usage (for example, the U.S. economy) or expanding the abbreviation to its full form and then making the possessive (for example, the United States’ economy).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In AACR2, the first example, United States.
  • Corporate name quiz answers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.library.yale.edu [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.On the other hand, in speech, the pronunciation United States’s sometimes is used.^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Do not abbreviate the names of countries (including the United States) when they are used as nouns.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ Always use SI units except when quoting from a source using other units, or if other units are more appropriate (usually for historical reasons), or if instructed otherwise.

.Abbreviations that come from single, rather than multiple, words—such as TV (television)—are pluralized without apostrophes: the apostrophe should be reserved for the possessive (TVs).^ Abbreviations that come from single, rather than multiple, words—such as TV (television)—are pluralized without apostrophes: the apostrophe should be reserved for the possessive (TVs).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Abbreviations that come from single, rather than multiple, words—such as TV ( television )—are pluralized both with and without apostrophes, depending on the logic followed: that the apostrophe shows the omission of letters and makes the s clear as only a pluralizer ( TV ’s ); or that the apostrophe should be reserved for the possessive ( TV s ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU., for Estados Unidos (United States).^ They are formed by using the initial letters of words.
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.esldrive.com [Source type: Original source]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU., for Estados Unidos (United States).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This old convention is still followed for a limited number of English abbreviations, such as SS. for Saints, pp. for pages (although this is actually derived from the Latin abbreviation for paginae[citation needed]) or MSS for manuscripts.^ This old convention is still followed for a limited number of English abbreviations, such as SS. for Saints, pp.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This convention is followed for a limited number of English abbreviations, such as pp.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Latin abbreviation for paginae[citation needed]) or MSS for manuscripts.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Acronyms that are now always rendered in the lower case are pluralized as regular English nouns: for example, lasers.^ Acronyms that are now always rendered in the lower case are pluralized as regular English nouns: for example, lasers.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronyms that are now always rendered in the lower case are pluralized as regular English nouns: for example, lasers .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In the case of Scottish Gaelic, a lower case "h" is added after the initial consonant; for example, BBC Scotland in the genitive case would be written as BhBC Alba , with the acronym pronounced "VBC".
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.When an initialism is part of a function in computing that is conventionally written in lower case, it is common to use an apostrophe to pluralize or otherwise conjugate the token.^ When an initialism is part of a function in computing that is conventionally written in lower case, it is common to use an apostrophe to pluralize or otherwise conjugate the token.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The ones who not only use the abbreviations in every sentence, but everything they type is in lower case, and they never use spell check or much punctuation.
  • Pet Intellectual Peeves - Page 2 - Sony Pictures 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.sonypictures.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This practice results in such sentences like "Be sure to remove extraneous .dll’s" (more than one .dll).^ This practice results in such sentences like "Be sure to remove extraneous .dll’s" (more than one .dll).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ A paragraph is one or more sentences that deal with a single thought.
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ An element can belong to more than one class.
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.However despite the pervasiveness of this practice, it is generally held to be technically incorrect; the preferred method being to simply append an s, without the apostrophe.^ However despite the pervasiveness of this practice, it is generally held to be technically incorrect; the preferred method being to simply append an s, without the apostrophe.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ A method allowing digital signing of documents without the contents being known to the signer.
  • Introduction to cryptography, Part 7: Contents and resource list 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.ibm.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ However, it has become common among many writers to inflect initialisms as ordinary words, using simple s, without an apostrophe, for the plural.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[41]
.In computer lingo, it is common to use the name of a computer program, format, or function, acronym or not, as a verb.^ In computer lingo, it is common to use the name of a computer program, format, or function, acronym or not, as a verb.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In computer lingo , it is common to use the name of a computer program, format, or function, acronym or not, as a verb.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Can you name the Common Chat Acronyms?
  • Can you name the Common Chat Acronyms? - sporcle 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sporcle.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In such verbification of abbreviations, there is confusion about how to conjugate: for example, if the verb IM (pronounced as separate letters) means to send (someone) an instant message, the past tense may be rendered IM’ed, IMed, IM’d, or IMd—and the third-person singular present indicative may be IM’s or IMs.^ In such verbification of abbreviations, there is confusion about how to conjugate: for example, if the verb IM (pronounced as separate letters) means to send (someone) an instant message , the past tense may be rendered IM ’ed , IM ed , IM ’d , or IM d —and the third-person singular present indicative may be IM ’s or IM s .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ There is a lot of confusion about what DH is!
  • ACRONYMS: Could we use them less and more responsibly? - Site Talk - Chowhound 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC chowhound.chow.com [Source type: General]

^ IM : instant messaging .
  • eBay acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC pages.ebay.com [Source type: General]

Case

All-caps style

.The most common capitalization scheme seen with acronyms and initialisms is all-uppercase (all-caps), except for those few that have linguistically taken on an identity as regular words, with the acronymous etymology of the words fading into the background of common knowledge, such as has occurred with the words scuba, laser, and radar — these are known as anacronyms (a portmanteau with anachronism).^ Thus all acronyms may be initialisms but not all initialisms are acronyms.
  • Sudoku Online : Sudoku Forums : Eureka! Tips,Tricks and Logical Strategies : Basic Solving Strategies 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sudoku.org.uk [Source type: General]

^ Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Jargon Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Small-caps variant
.Small caps are sometimes used in order to make the run of capital letters seem less jarring to the reader.^ Also, do not use capital letters.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ Originally Posted by Chicago Manual of Style To avoid unnecessary periods in abbreviations, Chicago recommends the following general guidelines: use periods with abbreviations that appear in lowercase letters; use no periods with abbreviations that appear in full capitals or small capitals, whether two letters or more.
  • Acronyms etc - uppercase or lowercase? - Page 3 - SitePoint Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This usage is however becoming outdated as the use of capital letters is sufficient to indicate that the word is abbreviated.
  • Dealing with Abbreviations In Translation 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC translationjournal.net [Source type: Academic]

.For example, the style of some American publications, including the Atlantic Monthly and USA Today, is to use small caps for acronyms and initialisms longer than three letters[citation needed]; thus "U.S." and "FDR" in normal caps, but "NATO" in small caps.^ Thus, "NATO" would be an acronym, formed from the initial letters in the phrase "North Atlantic Treaty Organization".
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Thus all acronyms may be initialisms but not all initialisms are acronyms.
  • Sudoku Online : Sudoku Forums : Eureka! Tips,Tricks and Logical Strategies : Basic Solving Strategies 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sudoku.org.uk [Source type: General]

^ ETLA: Extended three letter acronym.
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

The initialisms "AD" and "BC" are often smallcapped as well, as in: "From 4004 BC to AD 525."

Pronunciation-dependent style

.On the copyediting end of the publishing industry, where the aforementioned distinction between acronyms (pronounced as a word) and initialisms (pronounced as a series of letters) is usually maintained, some publishers choose to use cap/lowercase (c/lc) styling for acronyms, reserving all-caps styling for initialisms.^ An acronym is a pronounceable word formed by letters which are the first initials of each word it is representing, or you get the idea.
  • DAP Review: MP3 Player News and Reviews: News / Comments / Attn: non-iPod owners - Stop calling your Mp3 player a "DAP" 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.dapreview.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ However, some still differentiate between acronyms and initialisms: an acronym was originally a pronounceable word formed from the initial ...

^ "Users of the term acronym make no distinction between those which are pronounced as words ...
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.Thus Nato and Aids (c/lc), but USA and FBI (caps).^ Originally Posted by UK Jimbo Are you with me that NATO and NASA are acronyms but USA and FBI aren't?
  • Acronyms for vB - Page 2 - vBulletin.org Forum 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.vbulletin.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.For example, this is the style used in The Guardian,[42] and BBC News typically edits to this style.^ EDIT: UPDATED 25.04 22:34 Please only use this new version!
  • Acronyms for vB - Page 2 - vBulletin.org Forum 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.vbulletin.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ For example, most people having an internal dialogue would not expand the news channels CNN or BBC. CNN and BBC is who they are.
  • Accessify Forum: Plural abbreviations and acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.accessifyforum.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The CONSER Editing Guide provides an example of the use of 247 in this situation.

The logic of this style is that the pronunciation is reflected graphically by the capitalization scheme.
.Some style manuals also base the letters' case on their number.^ Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ I think before we go declaring what is definitely wrong and what is correct, we need to research some of the prevailing style manuals, as well as past and present grammar texts.
  • Apostrophe Catastrophe [Archive] - AppleInsider 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC forums.appleinsider.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The Manual is based on the fifteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style and contains more than a hundred of the most common mistakes found in university publications.
  • JSU Manual of Style and Usage 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.jsu.edu [Source type: Reference]

.The New York Times, for example, keeps NATO in all capitals (while several guides in the British press may render it Nato), but uses lower case in Unicef (from "United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund") because it is more than four letters, and to style it in caps might look ungainly (flirting with the appearance of "shouting capitals").^ All letters in the identifier are capitalized.
  • Capitalization Conventions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC msdn.microsoft.com [Source type: Reference]

^ It's certainly more complicated than RSS2, but its features might be useful.
  • June ⊆ 2005 Archive ⊆ Blog ⊆ Rob Marshall 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC rdmsoft.com [Source type: General]

^ Commas and spaces: Use a comma in any number with more than four figures.
  • Editorial Style Guide, Monash University 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adm.monash.edu.au [Source type: Reference]

Numerals and constituent words

.While typically abbreviations exclude the initials of short function words (such as "and", "or", "of", or "to"), they are sometimes included in acronyms to make them pronounceable.^ Nowhere in this definition (or any definition of "acronym") does it suggest that in order for it to qualify as an acronym you must be able to pronounce it as a word.
  • Capitalization Conventions 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC msdn.microsoft.com [Source type: Reference]

^ Also, if you assume that “word” in any of the definitions quoted above implies “pronounceable” and that initialisms can't be pronounced as words, some languages may not have a word for “initialism”.
  • Abbreviated Forms: Abbreviatios, Acronyms, Initialisms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC lists.w3.org [Source type: Reference]

^ New words and constructs sometimes find wider acceptance and pretty soon, they’re in general usage.
  • David Crystal: Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 at Larvatus Prodeo 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC larvatusprodeo.net [Source type: General]

.Sometimes the letters representing these words are written in lower case, such as in the cases of TfL (Transport for London) and LotR (Lord of the Rings).^ (Treated as a word when written in lower case, so first letter is capitalized at beginning of a sentence.
  • SBF Glossary: A to AAZV 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It’s not three letters representing 3 words.
  • Watching Your Web Language 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: General]

^ Some acronyms undergo assimilation into ordinary words: often they are written in lower case, and eventually it is widely forgotten that the word was derived from the initials of others: scuba \' and snafu , for instance.

.This usually occurs when the acronym represents a multi-word proper noun.^ It uses an initial capital for the first word and any proper nouns (names of specific people, places, organisations, religions, nationalities, languages).

^ An acronym is a pronounceable word formed by letters which are the first initials of each word it is representing, or you get the idea.
  • DAP Review: MP3 Player News and Reviews: News / Comments / Attn: non-iPod owners - Stop calling your Mp3 player a "DAP" 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.dapreview.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronyms ( not initialisms) of company names formed by using more than the initial letters of the words they represent.
  • http://btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chapsect1&info0=1 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC btb.termiumplus.gc.ca [Source type: Reference]

.Numbers (both cardinal and ordinal) in names are often represented by digits rather than initial letters: as in 4GL (Fourth generation language) or G77 (Group of 77).^ Numbers (both cardinal and ordinal) in names are often represented by digit s rather than initial letters: as in 4GL ( Fourth generation language ) or G77 ( Group of 77 ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Abbreviations using numbers for other purposes include repetitions, such as W3C ( W orld W ide W eb C onsortium ); pronunciation, such as B2B ( b usiness to b usiness ); and numeronym s, such as i18n ( i nternationalizatio n ; 18 represents the 18 letters between the initial i and the final n ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.Large numbers may use metric prefixes, as with Y2K for "Year 2000" (sometimes written Y2k, because the SI symbol for 1000 is k - not K, which stands for kelvin).^ Large numbers may use metric prefixes , as with Y2K for "Year 2000."
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ EERE follows national policies and those of scientific societies by using the SI (Systeme International d'Unites; International System of Units) or metric system in expressing technical measurements.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ Ensure and insure are sometimes used interchangeably, but it may be better to keep them separate.
  • Get into Uni | Free Features - Grammar And Style - Grammar A 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.getintouni.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Exceptions using initials for numbers include TLA (three-letter acronym/abbreviation) and GoF (Gang of Four).^ The term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation > > > formed from initial letters."
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters."
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Sometimes an abbreviation can be both an initialism and an acronym.

.Abbreviations using numbers for other purposes include repetitions, such as W3C ("World Wide Web Consortium"); pronunciation, such as B2B ("business to business"); and numeronyms, such as i18n ("internationalization"; 18 represents the 18 letters between the initial i and the final n).^ The term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation > > > formed from initial letters."
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ (The other 5% includes about 1% under 18.
  • SBF Glossary: A to AAZV 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters."
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Changes to (or word play on) the expanded meaning

Pseudo-acronyms

.In some cases, an acronym or initialism has been redefined as a nonacronymous name, creating a pseudo-acronym.^ SQL is pronounced as an abbreviation (initialism) by some, and as some kind of pseudo-acronym by some.
  • Accessify Forum: Screen Readers and CAPS 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.accessifyforum.com [Source type: General]

^ In some cases, an acronym or initialism has been turned into a name, creating a pseudo-acronym .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ This has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.For example, the letters making up the name of the SAT (pronounced as letters) college entrance test no longer officially stand for anything.^ For example, the letters making up the name of the SAT (pronounced as letters) college entrance test no longer officially stand for anything.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Also, an acronym is not merely an abbreviation that consists of all capital letters and no periods; it must be pronounced as its own word to be an acronym.
  • Pet Intellectual Peeves - Page 2 - Sony Pictures 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.sonypictures.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ If you name the letters in order when pronouncing it, all you've got is an initialism.
  • Pet Intellectual Peeves - Page 2 - Sony Pictures 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.sonypictures.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.This trend has been common with many companies hoping to retain their brand recognition while simultaneously moving away from what they saw as an outdated image: American Telephone and Telegraph became AT&T (its parent/child, SBC, followed suit prior to its acquisition of AT&T and after its acquisition of a number of the other Baby Bells, changing from Southwestern Bell Corporation), Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC to deemphasize the role of frying in the preparation of its signature dishes [43], British Petroleum became BP to emphasize that it was no longer only an oil company (captured by its motto "beyond petroleum"), Silicon Graphics, Incorporated became SGI to emphasize that it was no longer only a computer graphics company.^ Computers can only deal with numbers.
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This trend has been common with many companies hoping to retain their brand recognition while simultaneously moving away from what they saw as an outdated image: American Telephone and Telegraph became AT&T (its parent/child, SBC, followed suit prior to its acquisition of AT&T and after its acquisition of a number of the other Baby Bells , changing from Southwestern Bell Corporation), Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC , British Petroleum became BP to emphasize that it was no longer only an oil company (captured by its motto "beyond petroleum"), Silicon Graphics, Incorporated became SGI to emphasize that it was no longer only a computer graphics company.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Digital Equipment Corporation Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the computer industry.
  • Institution of Analysts and Programmers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.iap.org.uk [Source type: Reference]

.DVD now has no official meaning: its advocates could not agree on whether the initials stood for "Digital Video Disc" or "Digital Versatile Disc," and now both terms are used.^ What do you think it used to mean and what do you think it means now?
  • Acronym-users, why do you do it? - Straight Dope Message Board 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.straightdope.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Now I can use both of them in one reply!
  • The Daily Page | Madison, Wisconsin • View topic - OCINAGAYFOTC: Proposed new acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.thedailypage.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Technically, an acronym should form a word in itself; here, you should use the term initialism.
  • The Daily Page | Madison, Wisconsin • View topic - OCINAGAYFOTC: Proposed new acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.thedailypage.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Pseudo-acronyms may have advantages in international markets: for example, some national affiliates of International Business Machines are legally incorporated as "IBM" (or, for example, "IBM Canada") to avoid translating the full name into local languages.^ In some cases, an acronym or initialism has been turned into a name, creating a pseudo-acronym .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Initialisms may have advantages in international markets: for example, some national affiliate s of International Business Machines are legally incorporated as "IBM" (or, for example, "IBM Canada") to avoid translating the full name into local languages.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.Similarly, "UBS" is the name of the merged Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation.^ Similarly, " UBS " is the name of the merged Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

Recursive acronyms and RAS syndrome

.Rebranding can lead to redundant-acronym syndrome syndrome, as when Trustee Savings Bank became TSB Bank, or when Railway Express Agency became REA Express.^ Rebranding can lead to redundant-acronym syndrome , as when Trustee Savings Bank became TSB Bank.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ I like the associated trend known as RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome), typified by examples such as 'PIN number' , where part of the acronym is often said in full anyway.
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

.A few high-tech companies have taken the redundant acronym to the extreme: for example, ISM Information Systems Management Corp.^ A few high-tech companies have taken the redundant acronym to the extreme: for example, ISM Information Systems Management Corp.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Command and Management This first division focuses on three concepts: The Incident Command System (ICS) Multi-Agency Coordination Systems (MACS) Public Information Systems.
  • Not Just Another Acronym 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC emsresponder.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ MIS – Major Item System – management information system – Mobile IncinerationSystem (EPA) .
  • Y-12 National Security Complex » Library » Browse Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.y12.doe.gov [Source type: Academic]

and .SHL Systemhouse Ltd.^ SHL Systemhouse, Ltd.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

An example in entertainment is the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, where the redundancy was likely designed to educate new viewers as to what "CSI" stood for.
.Another common example is RAM memory, which is redundant because RAM (random-access memory) includes the initial of the word memory.^ Another common example is RAM memory , which is redundant because RAM ( random-access memory ) includes the initial of the word memory .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Sometimes a multi-word name or title is revised because its intuitive initialism is considered inappropriate, for example Verliebt in Berlin (ViB), a German telenovela , was first intended to be titled "Alles nur aus Liebe" resulting in "ANAL".
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU. , for Estados Unidos ( United States ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.PIN stands for personal identification number, obviating the second word in PIN number.^ PIN stands for personal identification number , obviating the second word in PIN number .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ As such, it's also known as PNS syndrome (PIN number syndrome syndrome = personal identification number number syndrome syndrome) .
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ I once got a letter from my bank that gave me not just a PIN, not even a PIN number, but a personal PIN number.

.Other examples include ATM machine (automatic teller machine machine), EAB bank (European American Bank bank), DC comics (detective comics comics), HIV virus (human immunodeficiency virus virus), Microsoft's NT Technology (New Technology Technology) and the formerly redundant SAT test (Scholastic Achievement/Aptitude/Assessment Test test, now simply SAT Reasoning Test).^ Other examples include ATM machine ( A utomatic T eller M achine machine ), EAB bank ( E uropean A merican B ank bank ), HIV virus ( H uman I mmunodeficiency V irus virus ) and the formerly redundant SAT test ( S cholastic A chievement/ A ptitude/ A ssessment T est test , now simply SAT Reasoning Test ).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Other examples include etc.
  • Acronyms etc - uppercase or lowercase? - Page 3 - SitePoint Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Yes, that’s right – it’s an ATM machine, or automatic teller machine machine.

Simple redefining

.Sometimes, the initials continue to stand for an expanded meaning, but the original meaning is simply replaced.^ Sometimes, the initials are kept but the meaning is changed.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ YM originally stood for Young Miss , and later Young & Modern , but now stands for simply Your Magazine .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ These abbreviations are sometimes described as acronym–initialism hybrids , although they are grouped by most under the broad meaning of acronym .
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

Some examples:
  • CAF was Confederate Air Force, a ragtag collection of vintage warplanes that started in Odessa, Texas. It was changed to Commemorative Air Force to better reflect its mission and avoid offense.
  • DVD was originally an initialism of the unofficial term digital video disk, but is now stated by the DVD Forum as standing for Digital Versatile Disc.
  • GAO changed the full form of its name from General Accounting Office to Government Accountability Office.
  • The OCLC changed the full form of its name from Ohio College Library Center to Online Computer Library Center.
  • RAID used to mean Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives, but is now commonly interpreted as Redundant Array of Independent Drives.
  • SADD changed the full form of its name from Students Against Driving Drunk to Students Against Destructive Decisions.
  • WWF originally stood for World Wildlife Fund, but now stands for Worldwide Fund for Nature (although the former name is still used in the US)
  • YM originally stood for Young Miss, and later Young & Modern, but now stands for simply Your Magazine.

Backronyms

.A backronym (or bacronym) is a phrase that is constructed "after the fact" from a previously existing word.^ Acronyms can even create words or names that didn't previously exist such as SCUBA which is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
  • tivo - Gizmodo 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC gizmodo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Frequently, acronyms are formed that use existing words (and sometimes the acronym is invented first and the phrase name represented is designed to fit the acronym).

For example, the novelist and critic Anthony Burgess once proposed that the word "book" ought to stand for "Box Of Organised Knowledge."[44] A classic real-world example of this in action was the name of the predecessor to the Apple Macintosh, The Apple Lisa, which was said to refer to "Local Integrated Software Architecture", but Steve Jobs' daughter, born 1978, was named Lisa. .Wags also came up with "Lisa: Invented Stupid Acronym" and "Let's Invent Some Acronym" to poke fun at the activity.^ AVLIC describes itself as `` an RID Approved Sponsor of Continuing Education (CE) Activities'' so at least some (and for all I know all) pronounce RID as an initialism and not an acronym.
  • SBF Glossary: RF to RKO 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Some acronyms are also made up of multiple characters from some of the words, in order to spell a word, but these are not true acronyms.
  • Sudoku Online : Sudoku Forums : Eureka! Tips,Tricks and Logical Strategies : Basic Solving Strategies 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sudoku.org.uk [Source type: General]

^ Fun with Acronyms Make up an acronym and the next person makes up what it stands for!
  • Writing.Com: Fun with Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.writing.com [Source type: General]

Contrived acronyms

.A contrived acronym is one that has been deliberately designed in such a way that it will be especially apt as a name for the thing being named (such as by having a dual meaning or by borrowing the positive connotations of an existing word).^ This has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ NOTE: On the vacancy pages, if you see an "Alphabetic Identifier" with the school name, that means that before the school was given a name by the School Board, it was identified by a letter of the alphabet, such as Z, D, T, V or R. .
  • Acronyms used in our School District 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sdhc.k12.fl.us [Source type: Academic]

^ The undergraduate Flinders University Choral Society, one suspects, developed their name so they could proudly display the acronym on their T-shirts.

.March 2009" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed] Some examples of contrived acronyms are USA PATRIOT, CAN SPAM,CAPTCHA, and ACT UP.^ Some acronyms undergo assimilation into ordinary words, when they become common: for example, when technical terms become commonplace among non-technical people.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Examples of Initialisations include USA, ATM, CPU, plus all the Acronym examples, since they are a form of Initialisation, so NASA, Laser etc..
  • Acronyms etc - uppercase or lowercase? - Page 3 - SitePoint Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ It's disheartening to think about how many hours it took congressional staffers to find a clumsy phrase that would produce the acronym "USA PATRIOT Act."
  • Get into Uni | Free Features - Grammar And Style - Grammar A 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.getintouni.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The clothing company French Connection began referring to itself as fcuk, standing for "French Connection United Kingdom." The company then created t-shirts and several advertising campaigns that exploit the acronym's similarity to the taboo word "fuck". See the list of fictional espionage organizations for more examples of contrived acronyms.
.Some acronyms are chosen deliberately to avoid a name considered undesirable: for example, Verliebt in Berlin (ViB), a German telenovela, was first intended to be Alles nur aus Liebe (All for Love), but was changed to avoid the resultant acronym ANAL.^ Sometimes a multi-word name or title is revised because its intuitive initialism is considered inappropriate, for example Verliebt in Berlin (ViB), a German telenovela , was first intended to be titled "Alles nur aus Liebe" resulting in "ANAL".
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ First of all, most of these are not acronyms.
  • Can you name the Common Chat Acronyms? - sporcle 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sporcle.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Initialisms may have advantages in international markets: for example, some national affiliate s of International Business Machines are legally incorporated as "IBM" (or, for example, "IBM Canada") to avoid translating the full name into local languages.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.Similarly, the Computer Literacy and Internet Technology qualification is known as CLaIT, rather than CLIT.^ My favourite has got to be the 'Computer Literacy And Information Technology' (CLAiT) qualification which has put the 'i' in lower case in a pathetic attempt to distract the reader from the convention that words such as 'and' or 'at' etc.
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ Computer Literacy And Information Technology CLAiT is an introductory level UK recognised IT qualification requiring no previous computing experience.
  • Institution of Analysts and Programmers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.iap.org.uk [Source type: Reference]

^ Use shorter dashes known as en dashes (rather than a hyphen or em dash) to indicate a range or to substitute for the word to.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

.March 2009" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed] In Canada, the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance (Party) was quickly renamed to the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance when its opponents pointed out that its initials spelled CCRAP (see crap).^ If initialisms are used, spell them out on first use, and put the initialism in parentheses after the full name.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ Initialisms are pronounced by spelling out the letters one-by-one.
  • Randsco - KISS my 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC randsco.com [Source type: General]

^ Washington (state) (use after city names in references, lists, tables, footnotes, bibliographies, and indexes; spell out in text; state name is not needed with Seattle) .
  • Y-12 National Security Complex » Library » Browse Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC y12web4.y12.doe.gov [Source type: Academic]

(The satirical magazine Frank had proposed alternatives to CCRAP, namely SSHIT and NSDAP.) .Two Irish Institutes of Technology (Galway and Tralee) had to choose different acronyms to other institutes when they were upgraded from Regional Technical colleges.^ In other words, they try to solve a social problem with a technical solution.
  • Slashdot Comments | Schools To Get Their Own DARPA 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC news.slashdot.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Slashdot News Story | Schools To Get Their Own DARPA 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC news.slashdot.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Slashdot | Schools To Get Their Own DARPA 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC slashdot.org [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ They may choose to write it in lowercase *because* its an acronym?
  • Acronyms etc - uppercase or lowercase? - Page 3 - SitePoint Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ There are other acronyms that are also real words, but they usually were created for the purpose of using that word.
  • Acronym-users, why do you do it? - Straight Dope Message Board 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.straightdope.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Tralee RTC became the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), as opposed to Tralee Institute of Technology (TIT). Galway RTC became Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), as opposed to Galway Institute of Technology (GIT). Team in Training is known as TNT and not TIT. Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences is still known as TITS.
.Contrived acronyms differ from backronyms in that they were originally conceived with the artificial expanded meaning, while backronyms are later invented expansions.^ A common misconception is that dfn means "definition", and many authors use it in the same way they use abbr or acronym (by using the title attribute to provide an explanation of the term).
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ I salute them for modifying the name without using a different punch line, I mean acronym.
  • SBF Glossary: A to AAZV 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In broad terms, they are all believed to originate from Latin rex and or Celtic rix, meaning `king.'
  • SBF Glossary: RF to RKO 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.plexoft.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Macronyms

.A macronym is an acronym in which one or more letters stand for acronyms themselves.^ Of the two words, acronym is the much more frequently used and known, and many dictionaries, speakers and writers refer to all abbreviations formed from initial letters as acronyms.

^ Originally Posted by elbows No one seems to understand that the more acronyms out there, the LESS likely it is that everyone knows what they mean.
  • Acronym-users, why do you do it? - Straight Dope Message Board 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.straightdope.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ If you have more than one appendix, title them with letters (Appendix A, B, C, etc.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

.March 2009" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed] A special case of a macronym is the recursive acronym, which directly or indirectly refers to itself when expanded.^ If your browser does not refresh style sheets, refer to Hot cache from March, 2003.
  • Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.zeldman.com [Source type: General]

One of the earliest examples of such appears in The Hacker's Dictionary as MUNG, which stands for "MUNG Until No Good"
Six examples of macronyms are:
.
  • GNU, which stands for "GNU's Not Unix"
  • LAME, which stands for "LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder"
  • PHP, which stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor"
  • VHDL, which stands for "VHSIC Hardware Description Language" (VHSIC itself standing for Very High Speed Integrated Circuit.^ PHP is a recursive initialism for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
    • 23 Most Valuable Free Software | TECH SOURCE FROM BOHOL 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.junauza.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    ^ Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans , two Israeli developers at the Technion IIT , rewrote the parser in 1997 and formed the base of PHP 3, changing the language's name to the recursive initialism PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
    • Web and Software Development 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC gutterstar.net [Source type: Reference]

    ^ Very high-speed digital subscriber line .
    • CSD- Reference Library: Acronym & Abbreviations List 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.commsdesign.com [Source type: Academic]

    ) .This example is not a recursive acronym.
  • WINE, which stands for "WINE Is Not Emulation"
  • XSD, which stands for "XML Schema Definition" (XML itself standing for eXtensible Markup Language.^ XML - eXtensible Markup Language.
    • Acronyms and Abbreviations 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC members.shaw.ca [Source type: Reference]

    ^ Occasionally, for special reasons, the second letter of a word is used, as in XML (eXtensible Markup Language).

    ^ Sure, it stands for "hypertext markup language" but does anyone - unless you're explaining the history - actually benefit from knowing that?
    • Accessify Forum: Plural abbreviations and acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.accessifyforum.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

    )

Non-English language

Asian languages

.In English language discussion of languages with syllabic or logographic writing systems (such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), acronym describes short forms that often take the first character of each multi-character element.^ In English-language discussion of languages with syllabic and/or logographic writing systems (such as Chinese , Japanese , and Korean ), acronym describes short forms that take the first character of each (multi-character) element.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ We do know when the term itself was invented - in 1943, by a researcher at Bell Laboratories who wanted a word to describe the short-form name they had given to their Sound Navigation and Ranging System: Sonar.
  • David McKie: Shorter and sweeter - The remarkable spread of the acronym | Comment is free | The Guardian 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.guardian.co.uk [Source type: News]

^ In the English language, the widespread use of acronyms, initialisms, and contractions is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon, having become most popular in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.For example, the name of Beijing University in Standard Mandarin consists of four syllables: Bei-jing Da-xue (北京大学), where Da-xue means "university". This is commonly abbreviated to just Bei-Da (北大).^ For example, the official name for the Roman Empire (and the Republic before it) was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus), showing a clear precedent.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Does this mean that a four-letter abbreviation will become a Flea (Four-Letter Extended Abbreviation)?’ Chris Bridges at NES Technical Support asks.

.In some cases a character in each element is used to form the short form, but not necessarily the first one.^ The ones who not only use the abbreviations in every sentence, but everything they type is in lower case, and they never use spell check or much punctuation.
  • Pet Intellectual Peeves - Page 2 - Sony Pictures 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC boards.sonypictures.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In English-language discussion of languages with syllabic and/or logographic writing systems (such as Chinese , Japanese , and Korean ), acronym describes short forms that take the first character of each (multi-character) element.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ H28: Providing definitions for abbreviations by using the abbr and acronym elements Further discussion about the ABBR Element at WebmasterWorld Back to Previous ACRONYM Acronym: A word or name that is formed by combining the first letters (or the first few letters) of a series of words.
  • HTML 4 SEO Best Practices for HTML Authoring 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.seoconsultants.com [Source type: Reference]

.For example, Hong Kong UniversityXiang-gang Da-xue (香港大学) is known as Gang-da (港大) instead of Xiang-da (香大).^ For example, Beijing University— Beijing Daxue (literally, North-Capital Big-School 北京大学) —is widely known as Beida (literally, North-Big 北大).
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

In addition, longer phrases may be abbreviated more drastically. .An example is the National People's Congress, Quan-guo Ren-min Dai-biao Da-hui (全国人民代表大会), which is shortened to Ren-Da (人大).^ I notice that some people are very good at expressing themselves well, for example day to day conversation or even writting an essay.
  • Ask the English Teacher: Style and Usage 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC crofsblogs.typepad.com [Source type: General]

^ With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for example, not many people would intuit that NHTSA is pronounced "nitsa."
  • The Buck Stops Here: 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.stuartbuck.blogspot.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In describing such languages, the term initialism is inapplicable.^ In describing such languages, the term initialism is inapplicable.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ In languages such as Scottish Gaelic and Irish , where lenition (initial consonant mutation) is commonplace, acronyms must also be modified in situations where case and context dictate it.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

^ Emphasise through skilful use of language, such as putting the word or term to be emphasised at the start or end of a sentence.
  • Editorial Style Guide, Monash University 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adm.monash.edu.au [Source type: Reference]

.There is also a widespread use of acronyms and initialisms in Indonesia in every aspect of social life.^ And while we're at it, there's a difference between an acronym, which is a pronouncable word formed from (usually) the first letters of the words in a phrase (e.g., N orth A merican F ree T rade A greement) and initialism or alphabetism, which is simply the abbreviation of a phrase using its first letters (e.g., PTA, MLB, YTMND).
  • CAGcast #31: Massive Damage - Cheap Ass Gamer 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.cheapassgamer.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Of the two words, acronym is the much more frequently used and known, and many dictionaries, speakers and writers refer to all abbreviations formed from initial letters as acronyms.

^ In the English language, the widespread use of acronyms, initialisms, and contractions is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon, having become most popular in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

.For example, the Golkar political party stands for Partai Golongan Karya, Monas stands for "Monumen Nasional" (National Monument), the Angkot public transport stands for "Angkutan Kota", warnet stands for "warung internet" or internet cafe, and many others.^ However, in legal and other formal contexts, the plural of person is persons ; furthermore, people can also be a singular noun with its own plural (for example, "We are many persons, from many peoples").
  • English plural 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.gourt.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Often mistakenly used as a synonym for the Internet itself, but the Web is actually something that is available over the Internet, just like e-mail and many other Internet services.

German

Mid-20th century German showed a tendency toward acronym-contractions of the Gestapo (for Geheime Staatspolizei) type: other examples are Hiwi (for Hilfswilliger, non-German volunteer in the German Army); Vokuhila (for "vorne kurz, hinten lang," "short in the front, long in the back," i.e. a mullet; Vopo (for Volkspolizist, member of police force in the GDR); Mufuti or MuFuTi (Multifunktionstisch - multi functional table in the GDR). .Mockingly, the people call this tendency AbKüFi (Abkürzfimmel – strange habit of abbreviating).^ Abbreviations like "NBC" have been variously designated "alphabetisms" and "initialisms", although some people do call them acronyms.
  • Acronym.eu 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC acronym.eu [Source type: Reference]

Hebrew

.It is common to take more than just one initial letter from each of the words composing the acronym; regardless of this, the abbreviation sign is always written next to the last letter, even if by this it separates letters of the same original word.^ Acronyms ( not initialisms) of company names formed by using more than the initial letters of the words they represent.
  • http://btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chapsect1&info0=1 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC btb.termiumplus.gc.ca [Source type: Reference]

^ AAIs abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms .
  • Y-12 National Security Complex » Library » Browse Acronyms 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.y12.doe.gov [Source type: Academic]

^ If you have more than one appendix, title them with letters (Appendix A, B, C, etc.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

.Examples: ארה"ב (for ארצות הברית, the United States); ברה"מ (for ברית המועצות, the Soviet Union); ראשל"צ (for ראשון לציון, Rishon LeZion); ביה"ס (for בית הספר, the school).^ In such instances, possessive abbreviations are often foregone in favor of simple attributive usage (for example, the U.S. economy) or expanding the abbreviation to its full form and then making the possessive (for example, the United States’ economy).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ This is not the case, however, when the abbreviation is understood to describe a plural noun already: for example, U.S. is short for United States, but not United State.
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU., for Estados Unidos (United States).
  • jestinchau - welcom to my blog 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC my.opera.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.An example that takes only the initial letters from its component words is צה"ל ("Tzahal", for צבא הגנה לישראל, Israel Defense Forces).^ An acronym is pronounced as a word (for example, WIC); an initialism is pronounced as its letters (for example, NCRX).
  • NC DHHS: Website Style Guide Appendix 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.ncdhhs.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.
  • Weblogs Forum - Web Services? What has the industry been smoking? 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.artima.com [Source type: General]

^ Of the two words, acronym is the much more frequently used and known, and many dictionaries, speakers and writers refer to all abbreviations formed from initial letters as acronyms.

Swahili

.In Swahili, acronyms are common for naming organizations such as TUKI which stands for "Taasisi ya Uchunguzi wa Kiswahili" (the institute for Swahili research).^ Acronyms can even create words or names that didn't previously exist such as SCUBA which is an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
  • tivo - Gizmodo 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC gizmodo.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Acronym: "A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging ".
  • DAP Review: MP3 Player News and Reviews: News / Comments / Attn: non-iPod owners - Stop calling your Mp3 player a "DAP" 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.dapreview.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ "In 1943, Bell Laboratories coined the term acronym as the name for a > word created from the first letters of each word in a series of words > (such as sonar, created from sound navigation and ranging).
  • Tiger used PEDs? - rec.sport.football.college | Google Groups 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC groups.google.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
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.Multiple initial letters (often the initial syllable of words) are often drawn together.^ A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.
  • Weblogs Forum - Web Services? What has the industry been smoking? 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.artima.com [Source type: General]

^ Of the two words, acronym is the much more frequently used and known, and many dictionaries, speakers and writers refer to all abbreviations formed from initial letters as acronyms.

^ Acronym: "A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging ".
  • DAP Review: MP3 Player News and Reviews: News / Comments / Attn: non-iPod owners - Stop calling your Mp3 player a "DAP" 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.dapreview.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Declension

In languages where nouns are declined, various methods are used. An example is Finnish, where a colon is used to separate inflection from the letters:
  • An acronym is pronounced as a word: Nato [nato] — Natoon [natoːn] "into Nato"
  • An initialism is pronounced as letters: EU [eː uː] — EU:hun [eː uːhun] "into EU"
  • An initialism is interpreted as words: EU [euroːpan unioni] — EU:iin [euroːpan unioniːn] "into EU"
.The process above is similar to how, in English, hyphens are used for clarity when prefixes are added to acronyms.^ CARRILLO wrote: thanks any more acronyms or initialisms commonly used in English?
  • acronyms - English vocabulary - English - The Free Dictionary Language Forums 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC forum.thefreedictionary.com [Source type: General]

^ Use a hyphen between prefixes and proper nouns (but not common nouns) or dates, whether they're used as nouns or modifiers: .
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ Use a hyphen after prefixes when that's the standard for certain chemical formulas.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

.Thus prewar policy (hyphen unneeded) but pre-NATO policy (rather than preNATO).^ Use shorter dashes known as en dashes (rather than a hyphen or em dash) to indicate a range or to substitute for the word to.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ Opening a new browser window is a behavioural issue; thus it should be handled by JavaScript rather than a target attribute.
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
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^ Thus '1000' rather than '1,000' and '10,000' not '10000'.
  • Editorial Style Guide, Monash University 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.adm.monash.edu.au [Source type: Reference]

Lenition

.In languages such as Scottish Gaelic and Irish, where lenition (initial consonant mutation) is commonplace, acronyms must also be modified in situations where case and context dictate it.^ "Acronyms such as NASA, NATO, fax, Zip Code, radar, laser, and sonar are so commonplace as words in the English language that hardly anyone remembers that they are indeed words formed from the initials or other parts of several words (especially the acronyms spelled with lower-case letters).
  • DAP Review: MP3 Player News and Reviews: News / Comments / Attn: non-iPod owners - Stop calling your Mp3 player a "DAP" 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.dapreview.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The correct form of the indefinite article ( a or an ) to use before acronyms and initialisms is determined by the consonant or vowel sound of the initial syllable, letter or number.
  • http://btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tcdnstyl-chap?lang=eng&lettr=chapsect1&info0=1 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC btb.termiumplus.gc.ca [Source type: Reference]

^ Western languages make extensive use of acronyms such as "GmbH", "NATO", and "F.B.I.", as well as abbreviations like "M.", "Inc.", "et al.", "etc."
  • Bulletproof HTML: 37 Steps to Perfect Markup [HTML & XHTML Tutorials] 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
  • Sitepoint : New Articles, Fresh Thinking for Web Developers and Designers 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC articles.sitepoint.com [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.In the case of Scottish Gaelic, a lower case "h" is added after the initial consonant; for example, BBC Scotland in the genitive case would be written as BhBC Alba, with the acronym pronounced "VBC". Similarly, the Gaelic acronym for "television" (gd: telebhisean) is TBh, pronounced "TV", as in English.^ An acronym is pronounced as a word (for example, WIC); an initialism is pronounced as its letters (for example, NCRX).
  • NC DHHS: Website Style Guide Appendix 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www.ncdhhs.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ An acronym is an abbreviation or initialism that is pronounced as a word: .
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

^ An initialism is similar to an acronym, but it is pronounced by its letters.
  • EERE Communication Standards and Guidelines: Style Guide Full Text 10 February 2010 10:47 UTC www1.eere.energy.gov [Source type: Reference]

Extremes

  • The longest acronym, according to the 1965 edition of Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary, is ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC, a United States Navy term that stands for "Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command." Another term COMNAVSEACOMBATSYSENGSTA which stands for "Commander, Naval Sea Systems Combat Engineering Station" is longer but the word "Combat" is not shortened.
  • The world's longest initialism, according to the Guinness Book of World Records is NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT (Нииомтплабопармбетжелбетрабсбомонимонконотдтехстромонт). The 56-letter initialism (54 in Cyrillic) is from the Concise Dictionary of Soviet Terminology and means "The laboratory for shuttering, reinforcement, concrete and ferroconcrete operations for composite-monolithic and monolithic constructions of the Department of the Technology of Building-assembly operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organization for building mechanization and technical aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."

See also

References

  1. ^ Fischer, Roswitha. (1998). Lexical change in present-day English: A corpus-based study of the motivation, institutionalization, and productivity of creative neologisms. Tübingen: G. Narr.
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster, Inc. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, 1994. ISBN 0-877-79132-5. pp. 21–2:
    acronyms   A number of commentators (as Copperud 1970, Janis 1984, Howard 1984) believe that acronyms can be differentiated from other abbreviations in being pronounceable as words. Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction because writers in general do not:
    "The powder metallurgy industry has officially adopted the acronym 'P/M Parts'" —Precision Metal Molding, January 1966.
    "Users of the term acronym make no distinction between those which are pronounced as words … and those which are pronounced as a series of characters" —Jean Praninskas, Trade Name Creation, 1968.
    "It is not J.C.B.'s fault that its name, let alone its acronym, is not a household word among European scholars" —Times Literary Supp. 5 February 1970.
    "… the confusion in the Pentagon about abbreviations and acronyms—words formed from the first letters of other words" —Bernard Weinraub., N.Y. Times, 11 December 1978
    Pyles & Algeo 1970 divide acronyms into "initialisms," which consists of initial letters pronounced with the letter names, and "word acronyms," which are pronounced as words. Initialism, an older word than acronym, seems to be too little known to the general public to serve as the customary term standing in contrast with acronym in a narrow sense.
  3. ^ "acronym". The Compact Oxford Dictionary of Current English: "a word formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g. laser, Aids). — ORIGIN from Greek akron ‘end, tip’ + onoma ‘name’."
  4. ^ "acronym". The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Third Edition: "an abbreviation consisting of the first letters of each word in the name of something, pronounced as a word."
  5. ^ "acronym". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2000), Houghton Mifflin Company: "A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging."
  6. ^ "acronym". The New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd ed. (2005), Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517077-6. "a word formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g., radar, laser).".
  7. ^ "acronym" "Princeton University WordNet — A Lexical Database for the English Language (2001)", accessed Nov 3, 2008: "acronym (a word formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name)"
  8. ^ "acronym". Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition (2006), HarperCollins: "a word made from the initial letters of other words, for example UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [Greek akros outermost + onoma name] ".
  9. ^ a b "acronym". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1991), Oxford University Press. p. 12: "a word, usu[ally] pronounced as such, formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g. Ernie, laser, Nato)".
  10. ^ "acronym" "Webster's Online Dictionary (2001)", accessed Oct 7, 2008: Acronym "A word formed from the initial letters of a multi-word name."
  11. ^ "acronym" "Cambridge Dictionary of American English", accessed Oct 5, 2008: "a word created from the frst letters of each word in a series of words."
  12. ^ Israel, Mark, Alt.English.Usage Fast-Access FAQ: "Usage Disputes: Acronym", accessed May 2, 2006:
    Strictly, an acronym is a string of initial letters pronounceable as a word, such as "NATO". Although WDEU [devoted exclusively to disputed usage] says, "Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction [between acronyms and initialisms] because writers in general do not"; but two of the best known books on acronyms are titled Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary (19th ed., Gale, 1993) and Concise Dictionary of Acronyms and Initialisms (Facts on File, 1988).
  13. ^ "acronym." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, accessed May 2, 2006: "a word (as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also: an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters: see initialism "
  14. ^ a b Crystal, David (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55985-5. p. 120: Its encyclopedic entry for Abbreviation contains an inset entitled "Types of Abbreviation," which lists Initialisms, followed by Acronyms, which he describes simply as "Initialisms which are pronounced as single words" but then adds "However, some linguists do not recognize a sharp distinction between acronyms and initialisms, but use the former term for both."
  15. ^ "acronym". Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (2003), Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-7607-4975-2. "1. a word created from the first letter or letters of each word in a series of words or a phrase. 2. a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately, as FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation."
  16. ^ "acronym" Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. OED Online Oxford University Press. Accessed May 2, 2006.
  17. ^ CollegeBoard.com
  18. ^ "Nooit opgegeven, al 95 jaar doorgezet!" (in Dutch). NAC Breda. 19 September 2007. http://www.nac.nl/nieuws/28047/nooit-opgegeven-al-95-jaar-doorgezet.html?portal=selectie&jaar=2007&maand=9&Speler_id=&offset=20. "Precies 95 jaar terug smolten NOAD (Nooit Opgeven Altijd Doorzetten) en Advendo (Aangenaam Door Vermaak en Nuttig Door Ontspanning) samen in de NOAD-ADVENDO Combinatie, kortom NAC." 
  19. ^ Dart, James (14 December 2005). "What is the longest team name in the world?". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2005/dec/14/theknowledge.sport. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  20. ^ a b B. Davenport American Notes and Queries (February 1943) vol 2 page 167 "Your correspondent who asks about words made up of the initial letters or syllables of other words may be interested in knowing that I have seen such words called by the name acronym, which is useful and clear to anyone who knows a little Greek."
  21. ^ S. V. Baum (1962) American Speech Vol. 37 No. 1, The Acronym, Pure and Impure
  22. ^ American Speech (1943) Vol. 18, No. 2, page 142
  23. ^ American Speech (1950) Vol. 25 No. 2 page 147
  24. ^ books.google.com/books
  25. ^ Urban Legends Reference Pages: Language (Acronyms)
  26. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online - Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary
  27. ^ K. D. Nilsen & A. P. Nilsen (1995) The English Journal Vol. 84, No. 6.,"Literary Metaphors and Other Linguistic Innovations in Computer Language"
  28. ^ Crystal, David. Txting: the gr8 db8. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.
  29. ^ Patel CB, Rashid RM (February 2009). "Averting the proliferation of acronymophilia in dermatology: effectively avoiding ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC". J Am Acad Dermatol 60 (2): 340–4. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2008.10.035. PMID 19150279. 
  30. ^ a b Quinion, Michael (2005). Port Out, Starboard Home: And Other Language Myths. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-101223-4. ; published in the US as Quinion, Michael (2006). Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-085153-8. 
  31. ^ See article at Snopes.
  32. ^ a b Etymonline.com
  33. ^ Abbreviations
  34. ^ Kristoff, Nicholas D. (2004-02-07). "Secret Obsessions at the Top". The New York Times. http://nytimes.com./2004/02/07/opinion/07KRIS.html?ex=1391490000&en=f887afd296d59e2f&ei=5007. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  35. ^ Taligent Style Guide - A
  36. ^ Writer's Block - Writing Tips - Plural and Possessive Abbreviations
  37. ^ EditFast Grammar Resource: Apostrophes: Forming Plurals
  38. ^ Libraries Australia - T.H. McWilliam, Charles Kingsford Smith, Prime Minister of New Zealand Joseph Coates, Charles Ulm and H.A. Litchfield in front row with Members of Parliament on steps of Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand, September 1928 [picture] / Crown Studios
  39. ^ Chapter III. — The House is in Session | NZETC
  40. ^ Under the party plan by C.J. Dennis (1876–1938)
  41. ^ Computer Dictionary Project
  42. ^ Guardian style guide | Style guide | Guardian Unlimited
  43. ^ Peter O. Keegan (1991-02-21). "KFC shuns 'fried' image with new name – Kentucky Fried Chicken has changed its name to KFC". Nation's Restaurant News. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_n8_v25/ai_10403447. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  This change was also applied to other languages, with Poulet Frit Kentucky becoming PFK in French Canada.
  44. ^ 99 Novels: The Best in English Since 1939 (New York: Summit Books, 1984).

External links

  • Abbreviations.com - a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations
  • Acronym Finder - a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations (over 750,000 entries)
  • Acronym Geek - database of acronyms and initialisms
  • AcronymCreator.net - a language tool to make new meaningful acronyms and abbreviations
  • All Acronyms - collection of acronyms and abbreviations (more than 600,000 definitions)
  • Acronyms Sometimes Suck is a humor blog about unfortunate acronyms and initialisms
  • VB.com - List of famous Companies owning their Acronym as an Internet address

Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations that are formed using the initial components in a phrase or name. These components may be individual letters (as in CEO) or parts of words (as in Benelux). There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of the various terms (see nomenclature), nor on written usage (see orthographic styling). While popular in recent English, such abbreviations have historical use in English as well as other languages. As a type of word formation process, acronyms and initialisms are viewed as a subtype of blending.

Contents

Nomenclature

In 1943, David Davis of Bell Laboratories coined the term acronym as the name for a word created from the first letters of each word in a series of words (such as sonar, created from sound navigation and ranging).[1] While the word abbreviation refers to any shortened form of a word or a phrase, some have used initialism or alphabetism to refer to an abbreviation formed simply from, and used simply as, a string of initials.

Although the term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters,[2] most dictionaries define acronym to mean "a word" in its original sense, [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] while some include a secondary indication of usage, attributing to acronym the same meaning as that of initialism.[16][17][18] According to the primary definition found in most dictionaries, examples of acronyms are NATO (pronounced /ˈneɪtoʊ/), scuba (/ˈskuːbə/), and radar (/ˈreɪdɑr/), while examples of initialisms are FBI (/ˌɛfˌbiːˈaɪ/) and HTML (/ˌeɪtʃˌtiːˌɛmˈɛl/).[12][17][19]

There is no agreement on what to call abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and words, such as JPEG (/ˈdʒeɪpɛɡ/) and MS-DOS (/ˌɛmɛsˈdɒs/).

There is also some disagreement as to what to call abbreviations that some speakers pronounce as letters and others pronounce as a word. For example, the terms URL and IRA can be pronounced as individual letters: /ˌjuːˌɑrˈɛl] and /ˌaɪˌɑrˈeɪ/ respectively; or as a single word: /ˈɜrl/ and /ˈaɪrə/ respectively. Such constructions, however—regardless of how they are pronounced—if formed from initials, may be identified as initialisms without controversy.

The term for the word-by-word reconstruction of an acronym or initialism is an expansion.

Comparing a few examples of each type

  • Pronounced as a word, containing only initial letters
    • AIDS: acquired immune deficiency syndrome
    • ASBO: Anti-Social Behaviour Order
    • NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    • Scuba: self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
  • Pronounced as a word, containing non-initial letters
    • Amphetamine: alpha-methyl-phenethylamine
    • Gestapo: Geheime Staatspolizei (secret state police)
    • Interpol: International Criminal Police Organization
    • Radar: radio detection and ranging
  • Pronounced as a word or names of letters, depending on speaker or context
    • FAQ: ([fæk] or F A Q) frequently asked questions
    • IRA: When used for Individual Retirement Account, can be pronounced as letters (I R A) or as a word [ˈaɪrə]
    • SAT: ([sæt] or S A T) (previously) Scholastic Achievement (or Aptitude) Test(s), now claimed not to stand for anything.[20]
    • SQL: ([siːkwəl] or S Q L) Structured Query Language.
  • Pronounced as a combination of names of letters and a word
    • CD-ROM: (C-D-[rɒm]) Compact Disc read-only memory
    • IUPAC: (I-U-[pæk]) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
    • JPEG: (J-[pɛɡ]) Joint Photographic Experts Group
    • SFMOMA: (S-F-[moʊmə]) San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Pronounced only as the names of letters
  • Shortcut incorporated into name
    • 3M: (three M) originally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    • E3: (E three) Electronic Entertainment Exposition
    • W3C: (W three C) World Wide Web Consortium
    • C4ISTAR: (C four I star) Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance[21]
  • Multi-layered acronyms
    • NAC Breda: (Dutch football club) NOAD ADVENDO Combinatie ("NOAD ADVENDO Combination"), formed by the 1912 merger of two clubs, NOAD (Nooit Opgeven Altijd Doorgaan "Never give up, always persevere") and ADVENDO (Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning "Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation") from Breda[22][23]
    • GAIM: GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger, i.e. GIMP Tool Kit America OnLine Instant Messenger, i.e. GNU Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit America OnLine Instant Messenger, i.e. GNU's Not Unix Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit America OnLine Instant Messenger, i.e. ...
    • PAC-3: PATRIOT Advanced Capability 3 i.e., Phased Array Tracking RADAR Intercept on Target i.e., RAdio Detection And Ranging
    • VHDL: VHSIC hardware description language, where VHSIC stands for very-high-speed integrated circuit.
  • Recursive acronyms, in which the abbreviation refers to itself
    • GNU: GNU's not Unix!
    • LAME: LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder
    • WINE: WINE Is Not an Emulator
    • PHP: PHP hypertext pre-processor (formerly personal home page)
    • These may go through multiple layers before the self-reference is found:
      • HURD: HIRD of Unix-replacing daemons, where "HIRD" stands for "HURD of interfaces representing depth"
  • Pseudo-acronyms consisting of a sequence of characters which, when pronounced as intended, invoke other longer words with less typing (see also Internet slang)
    • CQ: "Seek you", a code used by radio operators
    • IOU: "I owe you" (true acronym would be IOY)
    • K9: "Canine", used to designate police units utilizing dogs
    • Q8: "Kuwait"
  • Initialisms whose last abbreviated word is often redundantly included anyway
    • ATM machine: Automated Teller Machine machine
    • CD disc: Compact Disc disc
    • HIV virus: Human Immunodeficiency Virus virus
    • PIN number: Personal Identification Number number
    • VIN number: Vehicle Identification Number number

Historical and current use

Acronymy, like retronymy, is a linguistic process that has existed throughout history but for which there was little to no naming, conscious attention, or systematic analysis until relatively recent times. Like retronymy, it became much more common in the 20th century than it had formerly been.

Ancient examples of acronymy (regardless of whether there was metalanguage at the time to describe it) include the following:

  • Initialisms were used in Rome before the Christian era. For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus).
  • The early Christians in Rome used the image of a fish as a symbol for Jesus in part because of an acronym—fish in Greek is ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys), which was said to stand for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός Θεοῦ Υἱός Σωτήρ (Iesous CHristos THeou (h) Uios Soter: Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior). Evidence of this interpretation dates from the 2nd and 3rd centuries and is preserved in the catacombs of Rome. And for centuries, the Church has used the inscription INRI over the crucifix, which stands for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum ("Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews").
  • The Hebrew language has a long history of formation of acronyms pronounced as words, stretching back many centuries. The Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament") is known as "Tanakh", an acronym composed from the Hebrew initial letters of its three major sections: Torah (five books of Moses), Nevi'im (prophets), and K'tuvim (writings). Many rabbinical figures from the Middle Ages onward are referred to in rabbinical literature by their pronounced acronyms, such as Rambam (aka Maimonides, from the initial letters of his full Hebrew name (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) and Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzkhaki).

During the mid to late 19th century, an initialism-disseminating trend spread through the American and European business communities: abbreviating corporation names in places where space was limited for writing—such as on the sides of railroad cars (e.g., Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad → RF&P); on the sides of barrels and crates; and on ticker tape and in the small-print newspaper stock listings that got their data from it (e.g., American Telephone and Telegraph Company → AT&T). Some well-known commercial examples dating from the 1890s through 1920s include Nabisco (National Biscuit Company),[24] Esso (from S.O., from Standard Oil), and Sunoco (Sun Oil Company).

The widespread, frequent use of acronyms and initialisms across the whole range of registers is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon in most languages, becoming increasingly evident since the mid-20th century. As literacy rates rose, and as advances in science and technology brought with them a constant stream of new (and sometimes more complex) terms and concepts, the practice of abbreviating terms became increasingly convenient. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) records the first printed use of the word initialism as occurring in 1899, but it did not come into general use until 1965, well after acronym had become common.

Around 1943, the term acronym was coined to recognize abbreviations and contractions of phrases pronounced as words.[24] (It was formed from the Greek words ἄκρος, akros, "topmost, extreme" and ὄνομα, onoma, "name.") For example, the army offense of being absent without official leave was abbreviated to "A.W.O.L." in reports, but when pronounced as a word ('awol'), it became an acronym.[25] While initial letters are commonly used to form an acronym, the original definition was a word made from the initial letters or syllables of other words,[26] for example UNIVAC from UNIVersal Automatic Computer.[27]

In English, acronyms pronounced as words may be a 20th-century phenomenon. Linguist David Wilton in Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends claims that "forming words from acronyms is a distinctly twentieth- (and now twenty-first-) century phenomenon. There is only one known pre-twentieth-century [English] word with an acronymic origin and it was in vogue for only a short time in 1886. The word is colinderies or colinda, an acronym for the Colonial and Indian Exposition held in London in that year."[28][29]

Early examples in English

  • The use of Latin and Neo-Latin terms in vernaculars has been pan-European and predates modern English. Some examples of initialisms in this class are:
    • A.M. (from Latin ante meridiem, "before noon") and P.M. (from Latin post meridiem, "after noon")
    • A.D. (from Latin Anno Domini, "in the year of our Lord") (whose complement in English, B.C. [Before Christ], is English-sourced)
  • O.K., a term of disputed origin, dating back at least to the early 19th century, now used around the world
  • n.g., for "no good," from 1838, nowadays commonly expanded to "nbg" (no bloody good); see also NFG
  • The etymology of the word alphabet itself comes to Middle English from the Late Latin Alphabetum, which in turn derives from the Ancient Greek Alphabetos, from alpha and beta, the first two letters of the Greek alphabet.[30] Colloquially, learning the alphabet is called learning one's ABCs.

Current use

Acronyms and initialisms are used most often to abbreviate names of organizations and long or frequently referenced terms. The armed forces and government agencies frequently employ initialisms (and occasionally, acronyms); some well-known examples from the United States are among the "alphabet agencies" created by Franklin D. Roosevelt under the New Deal. Business and industry also are prolific coiners of acronyms and initialisms. The rapid advance of science and technology in recent centuries seems to be an underlying force driving the usage, as new inventions and concepts with multiword names create a demand for shorter, more manageable names. One representative example, from the U.S. Navy, is COMCRUDESPAC, which stands for commander, cruisers destroyers Pacific; it's also seen as "ComCruDesPac". "YABA-compatible" (where YABA stands for "yet another bloody acronym") is used to mean that a term's acronym can be pronounced but is not an offensive word (e.g., "When choosing a new name, be sure it is "YABA-compatible").[31]

The use of initialisms has been further popularized with the emergence of Short Message Systems (SMS). To fit messages into the 160-Character limit of SMS, initialisms such as "GF" (girl friend), "LOL" (laughing out loud), and "DL" (download) have been popularized into the mainstream.[32] Although prescriptivist disdain for such neologism is fashionable, and can be useful when the goal is protecting message receivers from crypticness, it is scientifically groundless when couched as preserving the "purity" or "legitimacy" of language; this neologism is merely the latest instance of a perennial linguistic principle—the same one that in the 19th century prompted the aforementioned abbreviation of corporation names in places where space for writing was limited (e.g., ticker tape, newspaper column inches).

Jargon

Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon. An initialism may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship. The general reason for this is convenience and succinctness for specialists, although it has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed.

The medical literature has been struggling to control the proliferation of acronyms as their use has evolved from aiding communication to hindering it. This has become such a problem that it is even evaluated at the level of medical academies such as the American Academy of Dermatology. [33]

Acronyms as legendary etymology

It is not uncommon for acronyms to be cited in a kind of false etymology, called a folk etymology, for a word. Such etymologies persist in popular culture but have no factual basis in historical linguistics, and are examples of language-related urban legends. For example, cop is commonly cited as being supposedly derived from "constable on patrol,"[34] posh from "port out, starboard home",[35] and golf from "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden".[35][36] Taboo words in particular commonly have such false etymologies: shit from "ship/store high in transit"[28][37] or "special high-intensity training" and fuck from "for unlawful carnal knowledge", or "fornication under consent of the king".[37]

Orthographic styling

Punctuation

Showing the ellipsis of letters

Traditionally, in English, abbreviations have been written with a full stop/period/point in place of the deleted part to show the ellipsis of letters, although the colon and apostrophe have also had this role. In the case of most acronyms and initialisms, each letter is an abbreviation of a separate word and, in theory, should get its own termination mark. Such punctuation is diminishing with the belief that the presence of all-capital letters is sufficient to indicate that the word is an abbreviation.

Ellipsis-is-understood style

Some influential style guides, such as that of the BBC, no longer require punctuation to show ellipsis; some even proscribe it. Larry Trask, American author of The Penguin Guide to Punctuation, states categorically that, in British English, "this tiresome and unnecessary practice is now obsolete",[38] though some other sources are not so absolute in their pronouncements.

Pronunciation-dependent style

Nevertheless, some influential style guides, many of them American, still require periods in certain instances. For example, The New York Times’ guide recommends following each segment with a period when the letters are pronounced individually, as in K.G.B., but not when pronounced as a word, as in NATO.[39] The logic of this style is that the pronunciation is reflected graphically by the punctuation scheme.

Other conventions

When a multiple-letter abbreviation is formed from a single word, periods are generally not used, although they may be common in informal usage. TV, for example, may stand for a single word (television or transvestite, for instance), and is generally spelled without punctuation (except in the plural). Although PS stands for the single word postscript (or the Latin postscriptum), it is often spelled with periods (P.S.).

The slash ('/', a.k.a. virgule) is sometimes used to show the ellipsis of letters, for instance in the initialisms N/A (not applicable, not available) and w/o (without).

Inconveniently long words used frequently in related contexts can be represented according to their letter count. i18n, for example, abbreviates internationalization, a computer-science term for adapting software for worldwide use. The 18 represents the 18 letters that come between the first and the last in internationalization. Localization can be abbreviated l10n, multilingualization m17n, and accessibility a11y. In addition to the use of a specific number replacing that amount of letters, the more general "x" can be used to replace an unspecified number of letters (e.g. Crxn for crystallization).

Representing plurals and possessives

The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of ’s (for example, Bs come after As) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way. Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.

However, it has become common among many writers to inflect initialisms as ordinary words, using simple s, without an apostrophe, for the plural. In this case, compact discs becomes CDs. The logic here is that the apostrophe should be restricted to possessives: for example, the CD’s label (the label of the compact disc).[40]

Multiple options arise when initialisms are spelled with periods and are pluralized: for example, whether compact discs may become C.D.’s, C.D.s, CD’s, or CDs. Possessive plurals that also include apostrophes for mere pluralization and periods appear especially complex: for example, the C.D.’s’ labels (the labels of the compact discs). This is yet another reason to use apostrophes only for possessives and not for plurals. In some instances, however, an apostrophe may increase clarity: for example, if the final letter of an abbreviation is S, as in SOS’s, or when pluralizing an abbreviation that has periods.[41][42] (In The New York Times, the plural possessive of G.I., which the newspaper prints with periods in reference to United States Army soldiers, is G.I.’s, with no apostrophe after the s.)

A particularly rich source of options arises when the plural of an initialism would normally be indicated in a word other than the final word if spelled out in full. A classic example is Member of Parliament, which in plural is Members of Parliament. It is possible then to abbreviate this as M’s P.[43][44] (or similar[45]), as famously by a former Australian Prime Minister.[citation needed] This usage is less common than forms with s at the end, such as MPs, and may appear dated or pedantic. In common usage, therefore, weapons of mass destruction becomes WMDs, prisoners of war becomes POWs, and runs batted in becomes RBIs.

The argument that initialisms should have no different plural form (for example, "If D can stand for disc, it can also stand for discs") is generally disregarded because of the practicality in distinguishing singulars and plurals. This is not the case, however, when the abbreviation is understood to describe a plural noun already: for example, U.S. is short for United States, but not United State. In this case, the options for making a possessive form of an abbreviation that is already in its plural form without a final s may seem awkward: for example, U.S.’, U.S.’s, etc. In such instances, possessive abbreviations are often foregone in favor of simple attributive usage (for example, the U.S. economy) or expanding the abbreviation to its full form and then making the possessive (for example, the United States’ economy). On the other hand, in speech, the pronunciation United States’s sometimes is used.

Abbreviations that come from single, rather than multiple, words—such as TV (television)—are pluralized without apostrophes: the apostrophe should be reserved for the possessive (TVs).

In some languages, the convention of doubling the letters in the initialism is used to indicate plural words: for example, the Spanish EE.UU., for Estados Unidos (United States). This old convention is still followed for a limited number of English abbreviations, such as SS. for Saints, pp. for pages (although this is actually derived from the Latin abbreviation for paginae[citation needed]) or MSS for manuscripts.

Acronyms that are now always rendered in the lower case are pluralized as regular English nouns: for example, lasers.

When an initialism is part of a function in computing that is conventionally written in lower case, it is common to use an apostrophe to pluralize or otherwise conjugate the token. This practice results in such sentences like "Be sure to remove extraneous .dll’s" (more than one .dll). However despite the pervasiveness of this practice, it is generally held to be technically incorrect; the preferred method being to simply append an s, without the apostrophe.[46]

In computer lingo, it is common to use the name of a computer program, format, or function, acronym or not, as a verb. In such verbification of abbreviations, there is confusion about how to conjugate: for example, if the verb IM (pronounced as separate letters) means to send (someone) an instant message, the past tense may be rendered IM’ed, IMed, IM’d, or IMd—and the third-person singular present indicative may be IM’s or IMs.

Case

All-caps style

The most common capitalization scheme seen with acronyms and initialisms is all-uppercase (all-caps), except for those few that have linguistically taken on an identity as regular words, with the acronymous etymology of the words fading into the background of common knowledge, such as has occurred with the words scuba, laser, and radar — these are known as anacronyms (a portmanteau with anachronism).

Small-caps variant

Small caps are sometimes used to make the run of capital letters seem less jarring to the reader. For example, the style of some American publications, including the Atlantic Monthly and USA Today, is to use small caps for acronyms and initialisms longer than three letters[citation needed]; thus "U.S." and "FDR" in normal caps, but "Template:Sc" in small caps. The initialisms "[[Anno Domini|Template:Sc]]" and "[[Before Christ|Template:Sc]]" are often smallcapped as well, as in: "From 4004 Template:Sc to Template:Sc 525."

Pronunciation-dependent style

At the copyediting end of the publishing industry, where the aforementioned distinction between acronyms (pronounced as a word) and initialisms (pronounced as a series of letters) is usually maintained, some publishers choose to use cap/lowercase (c/lc) styling for acronyms, reserving all-caps styling for initialisms. Thus Nato and Aids (c/lc), but USA and FBI (caps). For example, this is the style used in The Guardian,[47] and BBC News typically edits to this style. The logic of this style is that the pronunciation is reflected graphically by the capitalization scheme.

Some style manuals also base the letters' case on their number. The New York Times, for example, keeps NATO in all capitals (while several guides in the British press may render it Nato), but uses lower case in Unicef (from "United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund") because it is more than four letters, and to style it in caps might look ungainly (flirting with the appearance of "shouting capitals").

Numerals and constituent words

While typically abbreviations exclude the initials of short function words (such as "and", "or", "of", or "to"), they are sometimes included in acronyms to make them pronounceable. Sometimes the letters representing these words are written in lower case, such as in the cases of TfL (Transport for London) and LotR (Lord of the Rings). This usually occurs when the acronym represents a multi-word proper noun.

Numbers (both cardinal and ordinal) in names are often represented by digits rather than initial letters: as in 4GL (Fourth generation language) or G77 (Group of 77). Large numbers may use metric prefixes, as with Y2K for "Year 2000" (sometimes written Y2k, because the SI symbol for 1000 is k - not K, which stands for kelvin). Exceptions using initials for numbers include TLA (three-letter acronym/abbreviation) and GoF (Gang of Four). Abbreviations using numbers for other purposes include repetitions, such as W3C ("World Wide Web Consortium"); pronunciation, such as B2B ("business to business"); and numeronyms, such as i18n ("internationalization"; 18 represents the 18 letters between the initial i and the final n).

Changes to (or word play on) the expanded meaning

Pseudo-acronyms

In some cases, an acronym or initialism has been redefined as a nonacronymous name, creating a pseudo-acronym. The term "orphan initialism" has also been used for names which began as acronym but lost this status.[48] Such apparent acronym or other abbreviation which doesn't stand for anything, or cannot be officially expanded to some meaning. For example, the letters making up the name of the SAT (pronounced as letters) college entrance test no longer officially stand for anything. This trend has been common with many companies hoping to retain their brand recognition while simultaneously moving away from what they saw as an outdated image: American Telephone and Telegraph became AT&T (its parent/child, SBC, followed suit prior to its acquisition of AT&T and after its acquisition of a number of the other Baby Bells, changing from Southwestern Bell Corporation), Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC to de-emphasize the role of frying in the preparation of its signature dishes,[49] British Petroleum became BP to emphasize that it was no longer only an oil company (captured by its motto "beyond petroleum"), Silicon Graphics, Incorporated became SGI to emphasize that it was no longer only a computer graphics company. DVD now has no official meaning: its advocates could not agree on whether the initials stood for "Digital Video Disc" or "Digital Versatile Disc," and now both terms are used.

Pseudo-acronyms may have advantages in international markets: for example, some national affiliates of International Business Machines are legally incorporated as "IBM" (or, for example, "IBM Canada") to avoid translating the full name into local languages. Similarly, "UBS" is the name of the merged Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation, and "HSBC" has replaced "The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation."

Recursive acronyms and RAS syndrome

Rebranding can lead to redundant-acronym syndrome syndrome, as when Trustee Savings Bank became TSB Bank, or when Railway Express Agency became REA Express. A few high-tech companies have taken the redundant acronym to the extreme: for example, ISM Information Systems Management Corp. and SHL Systemhouse Ltd. An example in entertainment is the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, where the redundancy was likely designed to educate new viewers as to what "CSI" stood for. The same stood for when the Royal Bank of Canada's Canadian operations rebranded to RBC Royal Bank, or when Bank of Montreal rebranded their retail banking subsidiary BMO Bank of Montreal.

Another common example is RAM memory, which is redundant because RAM (random-access memory) includes the initial of the word memory. PIN stands for personal identification number, obviating the second word in PIN number. Other examples include ATM machine (automated teller machine machine), EAB bank (European American Bank bank), DC comics (detective comics comics), HIV virus (human immunodeficiency virus virus), Microsoft's NT Technology (New Technology Technology) and the formerly redundant SAT test (Scholastic Achievement/Aptitude/Assessment Test test, now simply SAT Reasoning Test). TNN (The Nashville/National Network) also renamed itself The New TNN for a brief interlude.

Simple redefining

Sometimes, the initials continue to stand for an expanded meaning, but the original meaning is simply replaced. Some examples:

  • CAF was Confederate Air Force, a ragtag collection of vintage warplanes that started in Odessa, Texas. It was changed to Commemorative Air Force to better reflect its mission and avoid offense.
  • DVD was originally an initialism of the unofficial term digital video disk, but is now stated by the DVD Forum as standing for Digital Versatile Disc.
  • GAO changed the full form of its name from General Accounting Office to Government Accountability Office.
  • The OCLC changed the full form of its name from Ohio College Library Center to Online Computer Library Center.
  • RAID used to mean Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives, but is now commonly interpreted as Redundant Array of Independent Drives.
  • SADD changed the full form of its name from Students Against Driving Drunk to Students Against Destructive Decisions.
  • WWF originally stood for World Wildlife Fund, but now stands for Worldwide Fund for Nature (although the former name is still used in the US)
  • YM originally stood for Young Miss, and later Young & Modern, but now stands for simply Your Magazine.

Backronyms

A backronym (or bacronym) is a phrase that is constructed "after the fact" from a previously existing word. For example, the novelist and critic Anthony Burgess once proposed that the word "book" ought to stand for "Box Of Organised Knowledge."[50] A classic real-world example of this in action was the name of the predecessor to the Apple Macintosh, The Apple Lisa, which was said to refer to "Local Integrated Software Architecture", but Steve Jobs' daughter, born 1978, was named Lisa.

Contrived acronyms

A contrived acronym is one deliberately designed to be especially apt for the thing being named (by having a dual meaning or by borrowing the positive connotations of an existing word).[citation needed] Some examples of contrived acronyms are USA PATRIOT, CAN SPAM, CAPTCHA and ACT UP. The clothing company French Connection began referring to itself as fcuk, standing for "French Connection United Kingdom." The company then created t-shirts and several advertising campaigns that exploit the acronym's similarity to the taboo word "fuck". See the list of fictional espionage organizations for more examples of contrived acronyms.

The US Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is known for developing contrived acronyms to name projects, including RESURRECT, NIRVANA and DUDE. In July 2010, Wired Magazine reported that DARPA announced programs to “..transform biology from a descriptive to a predictive field of science” named BATMAN and ROBIN for Biochronicity and Temporal Mechanisms Arising in Nature and Robustness of Biologically-Inspired Networks,[51] a reference to the Batman and Robin Comic-book superheroes.

Some acronyms are chosen deliberately to avoid a name considered undesirable: for example, Verliebt in Berlin (ViB), a German telenovela, was first intended to be Alles nur aus Liebe (All for Love), but was changed to avoid the resultant acronym ANAL. Similarly, the Computer Literacy and Internet Technology qualification is known as CLaIT, rather than CLIT.[citation needed] In Canada, the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance (Party) was quickly renamed to the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance when its opponents pointed out that its initials spelled CCRAP (see crap). (The satirical magazine Frank had proposed alternatives to CCRAP, namely SSHIT and NSDAP.) Two Irish Institutes of Technology (Galway and Tralee) chose different acronyms from other institutes when they were upgraded from Regional Technical colleges. Tralee RTC became the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT), as opposed to Tralee Institute of Technology (TIT). Galway RTC became Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), as opposed to Galway Institute of Technology (GIT). Team in Training is known as TNT and not TIT. Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences is still known as TITS. The war on terror was originally referred to in early Bush speeches as "The War Against Terror" (TWAT), but this was swiftly changed.[citation needed]

Contrived acronyms differ from backronyms in that they were originally conceived with the artificial expanded meaning, while backronyms are later invented expansions.

Macronyms / Nested Acronyms

A macronym is an acronym in which one or more of its constituent letters stand for acronyms themselves. Such acronyms are also called nested acronyms.[citation needed] A special type of macronym has letters which refer back to itself when expanded; these are called recursive acronyms. One of the earliest examples appears in The Hacker's Dictionary as MUNG, which stands for "MUNG Until No Good"

Some examples of recursive acronyms are:

  • GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix"
  • LAME stands for "LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder"
  • PHP stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor"
  • WINE stands for "WINE Is Not an Emulator"

Other macronyms have letters which refer to other acronyms; they include the following:

  • POWER stands for "Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC", in which (RISC stands for Reduced Instruction Set Computing)
  • VHDL stands for "VHSIC Hardware Description Language", in which (VHSIC stands for Very High Speed Integrated Circuit.) (This example is not a recursive acronym)
  • XSD stands for "XML Schema Definition", in which (XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.)
  • SECS stands for "SEMI equipment communication standard" in which SEMI stands for "Semiconductor equipment manufacturing industries".

Some macronyms can be "multiply nested" acronyms, ones in which the second order acronym itself points to another one further down in the hierarchy. In an informal competition run by the magazine New Scientist one specimen (fully documented) was discovered which had some claim to being the most deeply nested of all. RARS is the "Regional ATVOS etransmission Service", ATVOS is Advanced TOVS, TOVS is TIROS operational vertical sounder and TIROS is Television infrared observational satellite.[52]

Non-English language

Asian languages

In English language discussion of languages with syllabic or logographic writing systems (such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), acronym describes short forms that take selected characters from a multi-character word.

For example, in Chinese, the word "大學"/"大学" ("university" in traditional/simplified Chinese, literally "big educate"), when used with the name of the university, is usually abbreviated as "大" *"big"). So "北京大学" (Beijing University ("北京" = "Beijing", literally "north capital")) is commonly abbreviated to "北大" (literally "north big"). In this case, the first characters "北" and "大" from "北京" and "大学" are taken to compose the short form. In some cases, however, other characters than the first can be selected. For example, the local short form of "香港大學" (Hong Kong University, "香港" = "Hong Kong") is "港大" rather than "香大". There are also cases where some longer phrases are abbreviated drastically. For instance, the word "全国人民代表大会" (National People's Congress) can be broken into four parts: "全国" = "the whole nation", "人民" = "people", "代表" = "representatives", "大会" = "conference". Yet, in its short form "人大" (literally "man/people big"), only the first characters from the second and the fourth parts are selected; the first part ("全国") and the third part ("代表") are simply ignored. In describing such abbreviations, the term initialism is inapplicable.

There is also a widespread use of acronyms and initialisms in Indonesia in every aspect of social life. For example, the Golkar political party stands for Partai Golongan Karya, Monas stands for "Monumen Nasional" (National Monument), the Angkot public transport stands for "Angkutan Kota", warnet stands for "warung internet" or internet cafe, and many others.

German

Mid-20th century German showed a tendency toward acronym-contractions of the Gestapo (for Geheime Staatspolizei) type: other examples are Hiwi (for Hilfswilliger, non-German volunteer in the German Army); Vokuhila (for "vorne kurz, hinten lang," "short in the front, long in the back," i.e. a mullet; Vopo (for Volkspolizist, member of police force in the GDR); Mufuti or MuFuTi (Multifunktionstisch - multi functional table in the GDR). Mockingly, the people call this tendency AbKüFi (Abkürzfimmel – strange habit of abbreviating).

Hebrew

It is common to take more than just one initial letter from each of the words composing the acronym; regardless of this, the abbreviation sign gershayim is always written between the second-last and last letters of the non-inflected form of the acronym, even if by this it separates letters of the same original word. Examples: ארה״ב (for ארצות הברית, the United States); ברה״מ (for ברית המועצות, the Soviet Union); ראשל״צ (for ראשון לציון, Rishon LeZion); ביה״ס (for בית הספר, the school). An example that takes only the initial letters from its component words is צה״ל ("Tzahal", for צבא הגנה לישראל, Israel Defense Forces). In inflected forms the abbreviation sign gershayim remains between the second-last and last letters of the non-inflected form of the acronym (e.g. "report", singular: "דו״ח", plural: "דו״חות"; "squad commander", masculine: "מ״כ", feminine: "מ״כית").

Swahili

In Swahili, acronyms are common for naming organizations such as TUKI, which stands for "Taasisi ya Uchunguzi wa Kiswahili" (the institute for Swahili research). Multiple initial letters (often the initial syllable of words) are often drawn together.

Declension

In languages where nouns are declined, various methods are used. An example is Finnish, where a colon is used to separate inflection from the letters:

  • An acronym is pronounced as a word: Nato [nato] — Natoon [natoːn] "into Nato"
  • An initialism is pronounced as letters: EU [eː uː] — EU:hun [eː uːhun] "into EU"
  • An initialism is interpreted as words: EU [euroːpan unioni] — EU:iin [euroːpan unioniːn] "into EU"

The process above is similar to how, in English, hyphens are used for clarity when prefixes are added to acronyms. Thus prewar policy (hyphen unneeded) but pre-NATO policy (rather than preNATO).

Lenition

In languages such as Scottish Gaelic and Irish, where lenition (initial consonant mutation) is commonplace, acronyms must also be modified in situations where case and context dictate it. In the case of Scottish Gaelic, a lower case "h" is added after the initial consonant; for example, BBC Scotland in the genitive case would be written as BhBC Alba, with the acronym pronounced "VBC". Similarly, the Gaelic acronym for "television" (gd: telebhisean) is TBh, pronounced "TV", as in English.

Extremes

  • The longest acronym, according to the 1965 edition of Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary, is ADCOMSUBORDCOMPHIBSPAC, a United States Navy term that stands for "Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command." Another term COMNAVSEACOMBATSYSENGSTA, which stands for "Commander, Naval Sea Systems Combat Engineering Station" is longer but the word "Combat" is not shortened.
  • The world's longest initialism, according to the Guinness Book of World Records is NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT (Нииомтплабопармбетжелбетрабсбомонимонконотдтехстромонт). The 56-letter initialism (54 in Cyrillic) is from the Concise Dictionary of Soviet Terminology and means "The laboratory for shuttering, reinforcement, concrete and ferroconcrete operations for composite-monolithic and monolithic constructions of the Department of the Technology of Building-assembly operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organization for building mechanization and technical aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."

See also

References

  1. ^ Fischer, Roswitha. (1998). Lexical change in present-day English: A corpus-based study of the motivation, institutionalization, and productivity of creative neologisms. Tübingen: G. Narr.
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster, Inc. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, 1994. ISBN 0-877-79132-5. pp. 21–2:
    acronyms   A number of commentators (as Copperud 1970, Janis 1984, Howard 1984) believe that acronyms can be differentiated from other abbreviations in being pronounceable as words. Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction because writers in general do not:
    "The powder metallurgy industry has officially adopted the acronym 'P/M Parts'" —Precision Metal Molding, January 1966.
    "Users of the term acronym make no distinction between those pronounced as words … and those pronounced as a series of characters" —Jean Praninskas, Trade Name Creation, 1968.
    "It is not J.C.B.'s fault that its name, let alone its acronym, is not a household word among European scholars" —Times Literary Supp. 5 February 1970.
    "… the confusion in the Pentagon about abbreviations and acronyms—words formed from the first letters of other words" —Bernard Weinraub., N.Y. Times, 11 December 1978
    Pyles & Algeo 1970 divide acronyms into "initialisms," which consists of initial letters pronounced with the letter names, and "word acronyms," which are pronounced as words. Initialism, an older word than acronym, seems to be too little known to the general public to serve as the customary term standing in contrast with acronym in a narrow sense.
  3. ^ "acronym". The Compact Oxford Dictionary of Current English: "a word formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g. laser, Aids). — ORIGIN from Greek akron ‘end, tip’ + onoma ‘name’."
  4. ^ "acronym". The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Third Edition: "an abbreviation consisting of the first letters of each word in the name of something, pronounced as a word."
  5. ^ "acronym". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2000), Houghton Mifflin Company: "A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging."
  6. ^ "acronym". The New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd ed. (2005), Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517077-6. "a word formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g., radar, laser).".
  7. ^ "acronym" "Princeton University WordNet — A Lexical Database for the English Language (2001)", accessed Nov 3, 2008: "acronym (a word formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name)"
  8. ^ "acronym". Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition (2006), HarperCollins: "a word made from the initial letters of other words, for example UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [Greek akros outermost + onoma name] ".
  9. ^ "acronym" Quickanddirtytips.com Initialisms are made from the first letter (or letters) of a string of words, but can't be pronounced as words themselves. Acronyms are made from the first letter (or letters) of a string of words but are pronounced as if they were words themselves. Abbreviations are any shortened form of a word.
  10. ^ "Abbreviation" Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (David Crystal) The everyday sense of this term has been refined in linguistics as part of the study of word-formation, distinguishing several ways in which words can be shortened. Initialisms or alphabetisms reflect the separate pronunciation of the initial letters of the constituent words (TV, COD); acronyms are pronounced as single words (NATO, laser); clipped forms or clippings are reductions of longer words, usually removing the end of the word (ad from advertisement), but sometimes the beginning (plane), or both beginning and ending together (flu); and blends combine parts of two words (sitcom, motel).
  11. ^ "acronym" Commnet.edu. There is a difference between acronyms and abbreviations. An acronym is usually formed by taking the first initials of a phrase or compounded-word and using those initials to form a word that stands for something. Thus NATO, which we pronounce NATOH, is an acronym for North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and LASER (which we pronounce "lazer"), is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. FBI, then, is not really an acronym for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; it is an abbreviation.
  12. ^ a b "acronym". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1991), Oxford University Press. p. 12: "a word, usu[ally] pronounced as such, formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g. Ernie, laser, Nato)".
  13. ^ "acronym" "Webster's Online Dictionary (2001)", accessed Oct 7, 2008: Acronym "A word formed from the initial letters of a multi-word name."
  14. ^ "acronym" "Cambridge Dictionary of American English", accessed Oct 5, 2008: "a word created from the first letters of each word in a series of words."
  15. ^ Israel, Mark, Alt.English.Usage Fast-Access FAQ: "Usage Disputes: Acronym", accessed May 2, 2006:
    Strictly, an acronym is a string of initial letters pronounceable as a word, such as "NATO". Although WDEU [devoted exclusively to disputed usage] says, "Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction [between acronyms and initialisms] because writers in general do not"; but two of the best known books on acronyms are titled Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary (19th ed., Gale, 1993) and Concise Dictionary of Acronyms and Initialisms (Facts on File, 1988).
  16. ^ "acronym." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, accessed May 2, 2006: "a word (as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also: an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters: see initialism "
  17. ^ a b Crystal, David (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55985-5. p. 120: Its encyclopedic entry for Abbreviation contains an inset entitled "Types of Abbreviation," which lists Initialisms, followed by Acronyms, which he describes simply as "Initialisms pronounced as single words" but then adds "However, some linguists do not recognize a sharp distinction between acronyms and initialisms, but use the former term for both."
  18. ^ "acronym". Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (2003), Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-7607-4975-2. "1. a word created from the first letter or letters of each word in a series of words or a phrase. 2. a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately, as FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation."
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  24. ^ a b B. Davenport American Notes and Queries (February 1943) vol 2 page 167 "Your correspondent who asks about words made up of the initial letters or syllables of other words may be interested in knowing that I have seen such words called by the name acronym, which is useful and clear to anyone who knows a little Greek."
  25. ^ S. V. Baum (1962) American Speech Vol. 37 No. 1, The Acronym, Pure and Impure
  26. ^ American Speech (1943) Vol. 18, No. 2, page 142
  27. ^ American Speech (1950) Vol. 25 No. 2 page 147
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  34. ^ See Snopes article.
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  38. ^ "Abbreviations". Informatics.susx.ac.uk. http://www.informatics.susx.ac.uk/doc/punctuation/node28.html. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  39. ^ Kristoff, Nicholas D. (2004-02-07). "Secret Obsessions at the Top". The New York Times. http://nytimes.com./2004/02/07/opinion/07KRIS.html?ex=1391490000&en=f887afd296d59e2f&ei=5007. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  40. ^ "Taligent Style Guide - A". Pcroot.cern.ch. http://pcroot.cern.ch/TaligentDocs/TaligentOnline/DocumentRoot/1.0/Docs/books/SG/SG_5.html. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
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  42. ^ Robert. "EditFast Grammar Resource: Apostrophes: Forming Plurals". Editfast.com. http://www.editfast.com/english/grammar/apostrophes/apostrophe_plurals.htm. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  43. ^ "Libraries Australia - T.H. McWilliam, Charles Kingsford Smith, Prime Minister of New Zealand Joseph Coates, Charles Ulm and H.A. Litchfield in front row with Members of Parliament on steps of Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand, September 1928 [picture] / Crown Studios". Nla.gov.au. http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an41354070. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  44. ^ Author: Robin Hyde. "Chapter III. — The House is in Session". NZETC. http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-HydJour-t1-body-d3.html. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  45. ^ "''Under the party plan'' by C.J. Dennis (1876–1938)". Middlemiss.org. 1912-01-18. http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/denniscj/backblockother/underpartyplan.html. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  46. ^ Computer Dictionary Project
  47. ^ "Styleguide". London: Guardian.co.uk. 2008-12-19. http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide. 
  48. ^ Language Log: Orphan initialisms
  49. ^ Peter O. Keegan (1991-02-21). "KFC shuns 'fried' image with new name – Kentucky Fried Chicken has changed its name to KFC". Nation's Restaurant News. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_n8_v25/ai_10403447. Retrieved 2007-08-24.  This change was also applied to other languages, with Poulet Frit Kentucky becoming PFK in French Canada.
  50. ^ 99 Novels: The Best in English Since 1939 (New York: Summit Books, 1984).
  51. ^ Katie Drummond. "Holy Acronym, Darpa! ‘Batman & Robin’ to Master Biology, Outdo Evolution". http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/holy-acronym-darpa-batman-robin-to-master-biology-outdo-evolution/. 
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External links

  • Abbreviations.com - a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations
  • Acronym Finder - a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations (over 750,000 entries)
  • Acronym Geek - database of acronyms and initialisms
  • AcronymCreator.net - a language tool to make new meaningful acronyms and abbreviations
  • All Acronyms - collection of acronyms and abbreviations (more than 600,000 definitions)
  • Acronyms Sometimes Suck is a humor blog about unfortunate acronyms and initialisms
  • VB.com - List of famous Companies owning their Acronym as an Internet address

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 25, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Acronym and initialism, which are similar to those in the above article.








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