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Encyclopedia > Acronym and initialism
Look up acronym, initialism, alphabetism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and IBM, that are formed using the initial letters of words or word parts in a phrase or name. Acronyms and initialisms are usually pronounced in a way that is distinct from that of the full forms for which they stand: as the names of the individual letters (as in IBM), as a word (as in NATO), or as a combination (as in IUPAC). Another term, alphabetism, is sometimes used to describe abbreviations pronounced as the names of letters. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ... Experiment with a laser (US Military) In physics, a laser is a device that emits light through a specific mechanism for which the term laser is an acronym: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. ... IBM redirects here. ... The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of chemistry. ...

Contents

Nomenclature

Initialism originally described abbreviations formed from initials, without reference to pronunciation. 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.[1][2][3][4][5][6] 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[4] for abbreviations pronounced as the names of the individual letters. In the latter usage, examples of proper acronyms would be NATO (IPA: [ˈneɪtoʊ] or [ˈneɪtəu]) and radar ([ˈreɪdɑ(ɹ)]), while examples of initialisms would include FBI ([ɛf.biˈaɪ]) and HTML ([eɪtʃ.ti.ɛmˈɛl]).[7][4][5] NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ... Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... For other uses, see Radar (disambiguation). ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... HTML, short for Hypertext Markup Language, is the predominant markup language for the creation of web pages. ...


There is no agreement on what to call abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and words, such as JPEG ([dʒeɪ.pɛg]) and MS-DOS ([ɛm.ɛs.dɔs]). These abbreviations are sometimes described as acronym–initialism hybrids, although most would grouped them under the broad meaning of acronym.[citation needed] JPG redirects here. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ...


There is also no agreement as to what to call abbreviations that some pronounce as letters and others pronounce as a word. The internet term URL can also be pronounced as individual letters or as a single word, although there is no evidence to suggest a geographic distinction.[citation needed] “URL” redirects here. ...


In English language discussion of languages with syllabic or logographic writing systems (such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), acronym describes short forms that take the first character of each multi-character element.[citation needed] 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). In describing such languages, the term initialism is inapplicable. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... A Chinese logogram A logogram, or logograph, is a single written character which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ...


History

In the English language, the widespread use of acronyms, initialisms, and contractions is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon, becoming increasingly evident since the the mid-20th century. As literacy rates rose, and as advances in science and technology brought with them more complicated 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; acronym, in 1943. The word acronym comes from Greek: ακρος, akros, "topmost, extreme" + ονομα, onoma, "name." In traditional grammar, a contraction is the formation of a new word from two or more individual words. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Nonetheless, earlier examples of acronyms in other languages exist. 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 Ιησους Χριστος Θεου Υιος Σωτηρ (Iesous CHristos THeou (h) Uios Soter: Jesus Christ, Son of God, 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"). Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The ichthys has been used to represent a number of ideas. ... The 2nd century is the period from 101 - 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... Catacombs Paris Catacombs Rome - entrance Catacombs Rome - entrance (detail) Catacombs Lima. ... A Crucifix with the INRI plaque attached, the Holy Spirit Church in KoÅ¡ice, Slovakia A Crucifix with the stylized INRI plaque attached, the cornfields near Mureck in rural Styria, Austria INRI is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDAEORVM, which translates to English as: Jesus the...


Initialisms were used in Rome dating back even earlier than the Christian era. For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus). For the series of murder mystery novels, see SPQR series. ...


Early examples in English

This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Okay is a term of approval, assent, or acknowledgment, often written as OK or O.K.. This is also known as AOK. When used to describe the quality of a thing, it denotes acceptability. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... | Jöns Jakob Berzelius, discoverer of protein 1838 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... BC may stand for: Before Christ (see Anno Domini) : an abbreviation used to refer to a year before the beginning of the year count that starts with the supposed year of the birth of Jesus. ... Dionysius Exiguus invented Anno Domini years to date Easter. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the scientific study of insects. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... Vulgar Latin (in Latin, sermo vulgaris) is a blanket term covering the vernacular dialects of the Latin language spoken mostly in the western provinces of the Roman Empire until those dialects, diverging still further, evolved into the early Romance languages — a distinction usually assigned to about the ninth century. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. ... Beta (upper case Î’, lower case β) is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. ... The Greek alphabet is an alphabet that has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BCE. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant alike. ...

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 scholarly 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," posh from "port out starboard home", and golf from "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden". Taboo words in particular commonly have such false etymologies: shit from "ship high in transit" and fuck from "for unlawful carnal knowledge." A false etymology is an assumed or postulated etymology which is incorrect from the perspective of modern scholarly work in historical linguistics. ... Folk etymology is a term used in two distinct ways: A commonly held misunderstanding of the origin of a particular word, a false etymology. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... An urban legend or urban myth is similar to a modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. ...


Acronyms pronounced as words may be a 20th century phenomenon. Linguist David Wilton in Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends states that "forming words from acronyms is a distinctly twentieth (and now twenty-first)-Century phenomena. There is only one pre-twentieth-century word with an acronymic origin and it was in vogue only for 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. [9][10]


Usage

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), perhaps most famously in the "alphabet agencies" created by Franklin D. Roosevelt under the New Deal. Pretorian Guards, Roman Soldiers Military has two broad meanings. ... Cartoon parody of FDRs New Deal using alphabet cards In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched his New Deal to deal with the Great Depression. ... FDR redirects here. ... The New Deal was the title President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to the series of programs he initiated between 1933 and 1938 with the goal of providing relief, recovery, and reform (3 Rs) to the people and economy of the United States during the Great Depression. ...


Jargon

Acronyms and initialisms often occur in jargon. An initialism may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship. 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. For the glossary of hacker slang, see Jargon File. ...


Punctuation

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. 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. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The colon (:) is a punctuation mark, visually consisting of two equally sized dots centered on the same vertical line. ... For the prime symbol (′) used for feet and inches, see Prime (symbol). ...


Some influential style guides, such as that of the BBC, no longer require punctuation; 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,"[1] though some other sources are not so absolute in their pronouncements. Style guides generally give guidance on language use. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... It has been suggested that Penguin Modern Poets, Penguin Great Ideas be merged into this article or section. ... British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ...


Nevertheless, some influential style guides, many of them American, still require periods in certain instances. 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.[11] Style guides generally give guidance on language use. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ... The KGB emblem and motto: The sword and the shield KGB (transliteration of КГБ) is the Russian-language abbreviation for Committee for State Security, (Russian: ; Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti). ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ...


When a multiple-letter abbreviation is formed from a single word, periods are generally proscribed, although they may be common in informal, personal 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.). (Wikiquote abbreviates television as T.V.) Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...


Case

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. In orthography and typography, letter case (or just case) is the distinction between majuscule (capital or upper-case) and minuscule (lower-case) letters. ... UNICEF Logo UNICEF Flag The United Nations Childrens Fund (or UNICEF) General Assembly was created on December 11, 1946. ...


Some acronyms undergo assimilation into ordinary words, when they become common: for example, when technical terms become commonplace among non-technical people. Often they are then written in lower case, and eventually it is widely forgotten that the word was derived from the initials of others: scuba ("Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus") and laser ("Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation"), for instance. The term anacronym has been coined as a portmanteau of the words anachronism and acronym to describe acronyms whose original meaning is unknown to most speakers. Minuscule, or lower case, is the smaller form (case) of letters (in the Roman alphabet: a, b, c, ...). Originally alphabets were written entirely in majuscule (capital) letters which were spaced between well-defined upper and lower bounds. ... may refer to: Scuba diving, the use of a self-contained breathing set to stay underwater for periods of time. ... Experiment with a laser (US Military) In physics, a laser is a device that emits light through a specific mechanism for which the term laser is an acronym: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. ... A portmanteau (IPA pronunciation: RP, US) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. ... Look up Anachronism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Pronunciation

The use of lower case can alternatively be dictated by the pronunciation of the acronym. Acronyms pronounced as words, e.g. Defra, are written with an initial capital, whereas where they are spelt out, e.g. ISBN, capitals are retained throughout. This is the style used in the Guardian[12]. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities. ... The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN (sometimes pronounced is-ben), is a unique[1] identifier for books, intended to be used commercially. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...


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 lower case 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). Inflection of the Spanish lexeme for cat, with blue representing the masculine gender, pink representing the feminine gender, grey representing the form used for mixed-gender, and green representing the plural number. ...


Multiple options arise when initialisms are spelled with periods and are pluralized: for example, compact discs may become C.D.’s, C.D’s, C.D.s, or CDs. 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). Some see this as yet another reason to use apostrophes only for possessives and not for plurals. (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.) The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ...


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’, 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). In grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a noun or pronoun (called the adjectives subject), giving more information about what the noun or pronoun refers to. ...


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 (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 convention is followed for a limited number of English abbreviations, such as pp. for pages (although this is actually derived from the Latin abbreviation for paginae), or MM for millions (frequently used in the petroleum industry). Look up pp, pp. ...


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 sentences like "Be sure to remove extraneous dll’s" (more than one dll). 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. In computer science, a subroutine (function, procedure, or subprogram) is a sequence of code which performs a specific task, as part of a larger program, and is grouped as one or more statement blocks; such code is sometimes collected into software libraries. ... For the prime symbol (′) used for feet and inches, see Prime (symbol). ... Dynamic-link library (also written without the hyphen), or DLL, is Microsofts implementation of the shared library concept in the Microsoft Windows and OS/2 operating systems. ... Speech community is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a more or less discrete group of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves. ... Verbification, or Verbing is a process in linguistics whereby nouns, adjectives, and other words are transformed into verbs. ...


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. Function words are words that have little lexical meaning or have ambiguous meaning, but instead serve to express grammatical relationships with other words within a sentence, or specify the attitude or mood of the speaker. ...


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." 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). Here are examples of how to name numbers in English. ... Here are examples of how to name numbers in English. ... In mathematics and computer science, a numerical digit is a symbol, e. ... A fourth-generation programming language (or 4GL) is a programming language designed with a specific purpose in mind such as the development of commercial business software. ... link titlelink titlelink titlelink titlelink title--210. ... An SI prefix (also known as a metric prefix) is a name or associated symbol that precedes a unit of measure (or its symbol) to form a decimal multiple or submultiple. ... The year 2000 problem (also known as the Y2K problem and the millennium bug) was a flaw in computer program design that caused some date-related processing to operate incorrectly for dates and times on and after January 1, 2000. ... The TLA (three-letter acronym or three-letter abbreviation) is a TLA and is the most popular type of abbreviation in technical terminology, and is also very common in general language. ... In software engineering, the Gang of Four (or GoF) are Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides, authors of the seminal book Design Patterns. ... The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a consortium that produces standards—recommendations, as they call them—for the World Wide Web. ... Business-to-business (B2B) describes relations of commercial partners, without serving the end consumer. ... A numeronym is a number based word. ...


In some cases, an acronym or initialism has been turned into a name, creating a pseudo-acronym. 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, 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 couldn't agree on whether the initials stood for "Digital Video Disc" or "Digital Versatile Disc," and now both terms are used. A pseudo-acronym (or empty acronym[1]) is an apparent acronym or other abbreviation which doesnt stand for anything, or cannot be officially expanded to some meaning. ... The SATs (pronounced S-A-T not sat) are standardized tests, formerly called the Scholastic Aptitude Tests and Scholastic Assessment Tests, frequently used by colleges and universities in the United States to aid in the selection of incoming freshmen. ... A brand includes a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service. ... AT&T Inc. ... The Regional Bell operating companies (RBOC) are the result of the United States antitrust action against AT&T in 1983. ... KFC (full name Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. ... Kentucky Fried Chicken, also known as KFC, is a food chain based in Louisville, Kentucky, known mainly for its fried chicken. ... This article is about the corporation named BP. For other uses, see BP (disambiguation). ... This article is about the corporation named BP. For other uses, see BP (disambiguation). ... Current Silicon Graphics logo. ... Size comparison: A 12 cm Sony DVD+RW and a 19 cm Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. ...


Initialisms 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. An affiliate is a commercial entity with a relationship with a peer or a larger entity. ... International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) (NYSE: IBM) (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... UBS AG (NYSE: UBS; SWX: UBSN; TYO: 8657 ) is a diversified global financial services company, headquartered in Basel and Zürich, Switzerland. ... Union Bank of Switzerland was located in Switzerland. ... Swiss Bank Corporation (German: Schweizerischer Bankverein (SBV), French: Société de Banque Suisse (SBS), Italian:Società di Banca Svizzera) The history of the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) dates to 1854 and the consitution of Bankverein by which six Private Banking-houses: Bischoff zu St Alban, Ehinger & Cie. ...


Rebranding can lead to redundant-acronym syndrome, as when Trustee Savings Bank became TSB Bank. A few high-tech companies have taken the redundant acronym to the extreme: for example, ISM Information Systems Management Corp. and SHL Systemhouse, Ltd. 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 (Automatic Teller Machine machine), EAB bank (European American Bank bank), HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus virus) and the formerly redundant SAT test (Scholastic Achievement/Aptitude/Assessment Test test, now simply SAT Reasoning Test). RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome) is a common tendency to use one of the words which make up an acronym or initialism as well as the abbreviation itself, thus in effect repeating that word. ... It has been suggested that Trustee Savings Bank be merged into this article or section. ... High tech refers to technology that is at the cutting-edge—the most advanced technology currently available. ... Look up RAM, Ram, ram in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An NCR Personas 85-Series interior, multi-function ATM in the USA Smaller indoor ATMs dispense money inside convenience stores and other busy areas, such as this off-premise Wincor Nixdorf mono-function ATM in Sweden. ... Species Human immunodeficiency virus 1 Human immunodeficiency virus 2 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS, a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections). ... For other uses, see SAT (disambiguation). ...


Sometimes, the initials are kept but the meaning is changed. SADD, for instance, originally "Students Against Driving Drunk", changed the full form of its name to Students against Destructive Decisions. YM originally stood for Young Miss, and later Young & Modern, but now stands for simply Your Magazine. Students Against Drunk Driving is an after-school program aimed at keeping students from drinking alcoholic beverages and then driving, and also keeping them off drugs. ... YM or Ym may refer to: YM (magazine), a U.S. magazine geared towards teenage girls the IATA code for Montenegro Airlines The Youth Meeting program of CISV Yottametre, a unit for length or distance YM (selective medium), a combination of yeast and mold, a selective medium Yarmouth Mariners, a...


When initialisms are defined in print, especially in the case of industry-specific jargon, the initial letters of the full words are often capitalized. While this is logical for proper nouns, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, some usage writers have argued that it is technically incorrect for other terms, such as storage area network. Such capitalization is widespread in English publications; but "back-capitalization"—from SAN to give Storage Area Network, for example—is considered incorrect.[citation needed] For the glossary of hacker slang, see Jargon File. ... For capitalize in the context of Capital Letters, see Capitalization and Majuscule. ... A proper noun is a noun that picks out a unique entity. ... In computing, a storage area network (SAN) is an architecture to attach remote computer storage devices such as disk array controllers, tape libraries and CD arrays to servers in such a way that to the operating system the devices appear as locally attached devices. ...


Non-English language

In Hebrew

People

Acronyms have been widely used in Hebrew since at least the Middle Ages. Several important rabbis are referred to with acronyms of their names. For example, Baal Shem Tov is called the Besht, Rav Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides) is commonly known as Rambam, and Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman (Nahmanides) likewise known as the Ramban. “Hebrew” redirects here. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... For the town in Italy, see Rabbi, Italy. ... This article incorporates text from the public domain 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia Israel ben Eliezer Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) ben Eliezer (about 1700 Okopy Świętej Tr jcy - May 22, 1760 Międzyborz) was a Jewish Orthodox mystical rabbi who is better known to most religious Jews as... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... Nahmanides (1194 - c. ...


Text

The usage of Hebrew acronyms extends to liturgical groupings: the word Tanakh is an acronym for Torah (Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im (Book of Prophets), and Ketuvim (Hagiographa). Tanakh (‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... It has been suggested that Tawrat be merged into this article or section. ... Neviim [נביאים] (Heb: Prophets) is the second of the three major sections in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), following the Torah and preceding Ketuvim (writings). ... Ketuvim is the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). ...


Most often, though, one will find use of acronyms as acrostics, in both prayer, poetry (see Piyyut), and kabbalistic works. Because each Hebrew letter also has a numeric value, embedding an acrostic may give an additional layer of meaning to these works. An acrostic (from the late Greek akróstichon, from ákros, extreme, and stíchos, verse) is a poem or other writing in an alphabetic script, in which the first letter, syllable or word of each verse, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out another message. ... A piyyut (plural piyyutim, Hebrew פיוט, IPA [pijút] and [pijutím]) is a Jewish liturgical poem, usually designated to be sung, chanted, or recited during religious services. ... The tree of life Kabbalah (קבלה Reception, Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Qabala, Qabalah) is a religious philosophical system claiming an insight into divine nature. ...


One purpose of acrostics was as a mnemonic or a way for an author to weave his name as a signature, or some other spiritual thought, into his work, at a time when much was memorized. Examples of prayers which contain acrostics include: Not to be confused with pneumonic. ...

  • Shokhen Ad - Lines are written so that letters line up vertically, spelling the name Yitzchak, which may refer to the patriarch Yitzchak, or to an unknown author.
  • Ashrei - The first letter of every verse starts with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet

It is also a common part of Jewish thought to make inferences based on hidden acrostics. For example the Hebrew words for "man" (he: אישׁ) and "woman" (he: אשׁה) can be used to draw the inference that marriage, the joining of a man and a woman, is a spiritual relationship, because if one removes from each of the words "man" and "woman", one of the letters in the word "God" (he: י-ה), all that is left when "God" is removed from the joining of the two, is the word for destruction (he: אשׁ lit: fire) in place of each. Isaac or Yitzhak (יִצְחָק He will laugh. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


So much can be interpreted from Hebrew, and attributed to or inferred from it, that an interpretational system, called exegesis, has been developed along these lines. Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ...


A special punctuation mark, the gershayim (״), is used to denote acronyms. It is placed before the last letter in the abbreviation (e.g. תנ״ך for Tanakh). Gershayim (×´) is a punctuation mark used in the Hebrew language to denote acronyms. ...


The Tetragrammaton

Main article: Tetragrammaton

The Greek word tetragrammaton is used as a proper noun to describe the Hebrew spelling of the name of the Abrahamic god, יהוה (commonly transliterated as "YHVH", "YHWH", "Yahweh", or "Jehovah"), which Jews do not speak aloud, and protect when written (see Geniza). Scribes are prohibited from correcting, modifying, or erasing this word, or any series of four words which all begin, or all end, with these letters. Friday-night Shabbat Kiddush begins "Vay'hi Erev, Vay'hi Boker, Yom HaShishi. Vayachulu Hashamayim ..." Even though the first sentence is unnecessary to say, it would be breaking up the Tetragrammaton not to say it. The first four words, then, are completely unnecessary, but omitting them would make the next two words in some sense incomplete. Jews therefore whisper the first four words and say the rest out loud. It has been suggested that Yahweh be merged into this article or section. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... The Tetragrammaton in Phoenician (1100 BC to 300 CE), Aramaic (10th Century BC to 0) and modern Hebrew scripts. ... A Genizah or Geniza (Hebrew burial; according to S. D. Goitein, from the Persian word gonj storehouse, treasure) is the storeroom or depository in a synagogue, usually specifically a cemetery for worn-out Hebrew language books and papers on religious topics. ... This is about scribe, the profession. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... Shabbat, or Shabbos (Ashkenazic pronunciation) (שבת shabbāṯ, rest), is a day of rest that is observed once a week, from sundown on Friday until nightfall on Saturday, by practitioners of Judaism, as well as by many secular Jews. ...


Agglutination

In languages where agglutination extends beyond plurals, various methods are used. A representative example is Finnish, where a colon is used to separate inflection from the letters: For the music festival, see Agglutination Metal Festival. ...

  • 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"

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. Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. ... Lenition is a kind of consonant mutation that appears in many languages. ... BBC Scotland (BBC Alba in Gaelic) is a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly-funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. ...


In 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); Vopo (for Volkspolizist, member of police force in the DDR). The   (contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei: “secret state police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. ... Hiwi is a German abbreviation. ... The Volkspolizei (German for Peoples Police) was the national police of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), whose officers were commonly nicknamed VoPos. ...


Examples

  • pronounced as a word, containing only initial letters:
    • FNMA: (Fannie Mae) Federal National Mortgage Association
    • laser: light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation
    • NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
    • 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:
    • IRA: ([ˈaɪrə] or i ar a)
    • FAQ: ([fæk] or ef a cue) frequently asked questions
    • SAT: ([sæt] or es a tee) Scholastic Achievement (or Aptitude) Test(s)
    • SQL: ([sikwəɫ] or ess cue ell) Structured Query Language
  • pronounced as a combination of names of letters and a word:
    • CD-ROM: (see-dee-[rɒm]) Compact Disc read-only memory
    • IUPAC: (i-u-[pæk]) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
    • JPEG: (jay-[pɛg]) Joint Photographic Experts Group
    • PDFORRA: (pee-dee-[fɔrə]) Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Representative Association
  • pronounced only as the names of letters
    • BBC: British Broadcasting Corporation
    • DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid
    • LED: light-emitting diode
    • OB-GYN: obstetrics and gyn(a)ecology or obstetrician and gyn(a)ecologist
  • pronounced as the names of letters but with a shortcut
    • AAA: (triple a) American Automobile Association or anti-aircraft artillery
    • IEEE: (i triple e) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    • NAACP: (en double a cee pee) National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    • NCAA: (en cee double a or en cee two a) National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • shortcut incorporated into name
    • 3M: (three em) originally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
    • : (e three) Electronic Entertainment Exposition
    • W3C: (double-u three cee) World Wide Web Consortium
  • recursive acronyms, in which the abbreviation itself is the expansion of one initial (particularly enjoyed by the open-source community)
    • AROS Research Operating System
    • GNU: GNU's Not Unix!
    • BYOB(Anime): Bring Your Own BYOB
    • HURD: HIRD of Unix-Replacing Daemons, where "HIRD" stands for "HURD of Interfaces Representing Depth"
    • VISA: VISA International Service Association
    • XNA: XNA's Not Acronymed - Microsoft's new game development framework
  • pseudo-acronyms are used because, when pronounced as intended, they resemble the sounds of other words:
  • multi-layered acronyms:
    • GTK+: GIMP Tool Kit, i.e. GNU Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit, i.e., GNU's Not Unix Image Manipulation Program Tool Kit
    • 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

The federal government of the United States created the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) (NYSE: FNM), commonly known as Fannie Mae, in 1938 to establish a secondary market for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). ... Experiment with a laser (US Military) In physics, a laser is a device that emits light through a specific mechanism for which the term laser is an acronym: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ... may refer to: Scuba diving, the use of a self-contained breathing set to stay underwater for periods of time. ... Amphetamine or Amfetamine (Alpha-Methyl-PHenEThylAMINE), also known as, beta-phenyl-isopropylamine, and benzedrine, is a prescription stimulant commonly used to treat Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children. ... The   (contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei: “secret state police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Radar (disambiguation). ... This article is about the historical army of the Irish Republic (1919–1922) which fought in the Irish War of Independence 1919–21, and the Irish Civil War 1922–23. ... Tax rates around the world Tax revenue as % of GDP Part of the Taxation series        An Individual Retirement Account (or IRA) is a retirement plan account that provides some tax advantages for retirement savings in the United States. ... FAQ is an abbreviation for Frequently Asked Question(s). The term refers to listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. ... For other uses, see SAT (disambiguation). ... SQL (IPA: or IPA: ), commonly expanded as Structured Query Language, is a computer language designed for the retrieval and management of data in relational database management systems, database schema creation and modification, and database object access control management. ... The CD-ROM (an abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (ROM)) is a non-volatile optical data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive. ... The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of chemistry. ... JPG redirects here. ... The Irish Defence Forces encompass the army, navy, air force and reserve forces of the Republic of Ireland. ... This article is an overview article about the Crown chartered British Broadcasting Corporation formed in 1927. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... External links LEd Category: TeX ... The current version of the article or section is written like a magazine article instead of the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia. ... The AAA logo AAA (read triple-A), also known by its historic name of the American Automobile Association, is a non-profit automobile lobby group and service organization based in Orlando, Florida, United States. ... The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (pronounced as eye-triple-e) is an international non-profit, professional organization for the advancement of technology related to electricity. ... The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP, generally pronounced as EN Double AY SEE PEE) is one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States. ... The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, often pronounced N-C-Double-A or N-C-Two-A ) is a voluntary association of about 1,200 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States. ... 3M Company (NYSE: MMM), formerly Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company until 2002, is an American corporation with a worldwide presence. ... E³ logo The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E³, commonly known as E3, is an annual trade show for the computer and video games industry presented by the Entertainment Software Association. ... The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a consortium that produces standards—recommendations, as they call them—for the World Wide Web. ... A recursive acronym is an acronym (or occasionally, a backronym) which refers to itself in the expression for which it stands, similar to a recursive abbreviation. ... What is AROS? AROS (Amiga Research Operating System) is an open source implementation of the AmigaOS 3. ... GNU (pronounced ) is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. ... B.Y.O.B. is an acronym for bring your own bottle, bring your own beer, bring your own banana, or bring your own booze, usually used to indicate that the host of a party or social gathering will not be providing alcoholic beverages, but that guests are welcome to... The GNU Hurd (usually referred to as the Hurd) is a computer operating system kernel. ... Visa is a brand of credit card and debit card operated by the Visa International Service Association of San Francisco, California, USA, an economic joint venture of 21,000 financial institutions that issue and market Visa products. ... Microsoft XNA (XNAs Not Acronymed[1]) is a set of tools, complete with a managed runtime environment, provided by Microsoft that facilitates computer game design, development and management. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... A pseudo-acronym (or empty acronym[1]) is an apparent acronym or other abbreviation which doesnt stand for anything, or cannot be officially expanded to some meaning. ... ICQ is an instant messaging computer program, owned by Time Warners AOL subsidiary. ... Look up IOU in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... OU812 is the eighth album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released in 1988. ... Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. ... A stocked ships anchor. ... GTK+, or the GIMP Toolkit, is one of the two most popular widget toolkits for the X Window System for creating graphical user interfaces. ... Gaim is a popular multi-platform instant messaging client that supports many commonly used instant messaging protocols. ...

Trivia

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." USN redirects here. ...


The world's longest initialism, according to the Guinness Book of World Records is NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT (Нииомтплабопармбетзелбетрабсбомонимонконотдтехстромонт). 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 USSR." The Guinness Book of Records (or in recent editions Guinness World Records, and in previous US editions Guinness Book of World Records) is a book published annually, containing an internationally recognized collection of superlatives: both in terms of human achievement and the extrema of the natural world. ... The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first two letters) is an alphabet used for several East and South Slavic languages; (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ...


Sometimes an acronym's official meaning is crafted to fit an acronym that actually means something that sounds less "official". For instance, the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) recently developed in the United States is popularly called the "mother of all bombs" since it is the largest conventional bomb in the world; it is widely assumed that the "mother of all wars" phrase was the true inspiration for the MOAB acronym.[citation needed] Likewise titles are made up to form an existing word when shortened to an initialism. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, a health care bill, is better known as COBRA and the longish Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 was intentionally called so for its abbreviation, "USA PATRIOT Act". 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"(All for Love) resulting in "ANAL". Also, the Computer Literacy and Internet Technology qualification is known as CLAiT, rather than CLIT. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) (colloquially known as the Mother Of All Bombs) is a large-yield conventional bomb developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts Jr. ... The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, or COBRA, is a law passed by the U.S. Congress that mandates an insurance program giving some employees the ability to continue health insurance coverage after leaving employment. ... The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-56), known as the USA PATRIOT Act or simply the Patriot Act, is an Act of Congress which U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law on October... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


See also

Words in English with the suffix -onym (from the Greek onoma which means name) refer to words with a particular property. ... This article is about general features of internet slang. ... Acronym Finder is a World Wide Web searchable database of acronyms and abbreviations and their meanings. ... This is the list of abbreviations in English language. ... This list contains acronyms, initialisms, and pseudo-blends. ... RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome) is a common tendency to use one of the words which make up an acronym or initialism as well as the abbreviation itself, thus in effect repeating that word. ... The TLA (three-letter acronym or three-letter abbreviation) is a TLA and is the most popular type of abbreviation in technical terminology, and is also very common in general language. ... An acrostic (from the late Greek akróstichon, from ákros, extreme, and stíchos, verse) is a poem or other writing in an alphabetic script, in which the first letter, syllable or word of each verse, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out another message. ... A backronym (or bacronym) is a phrase that is constructed after the fact from a previously existing abbreviation, the abbreviation being an initialism or an acronym. ... A pseudo-acronym (or empty acronym[1]) is an apparent acronym or other abbreviation which doesnt stand for anything, or cannot be officially expanded to some meaning. ... A recursive acronym (or occasionally recursive initialism) is an abbreviation which refers to itself in the expression for which it stands. ... Newspeak is a fictional language in George Orwells novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. ... A syllabic abbreviation is an abbreviation formed from (usually) initial syllables of several words, such as Interpol = International + police. ... Acronyms are very popular in the Philippines. ... A portmanteau (IPA pronunciation: RP, US) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. ... During the 1960s trend for action-adventure spy thrillers, it was a common practice for fictional spy organizations or their nemeses to employ names that were acronyms (or more accurately, backronyms). ...

References

  1. ^ 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". Abbreviations like "NBC" have been variously designated "alphabetisms" and "initialisms", although some people do call them acronyms. According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, "Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction [between acronyms and initialisms] because writers in general do not." However, two well known books on the topic are are entitled Acronyms, Initialisms and Abbreviations Dictionary (19th ed., Gale, 1993) and Concise Dictionary of Acronyms and Initialisms (Facts on File, 1988).

  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 Feb. 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 Dec. 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." 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 : INITIALISM "
  4. ^ a b c Crystal, David (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55985-5. p. 120: "However, some linguists do not recognize a sharp distinction between acronyms and initialisms, but use the former term for both."
  5. ^ 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)".
  6. ^ "acronym". Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (2003), Barnes & Noble. ISBN 0-7607-4975-2. "2. a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately, as FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation."
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online - Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary
  9. ^ books.google.com/books
  10. ^ http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/acronyms.asp
  11. ^ NY Times opinion 2004-02-07.
  12. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide

Professor David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. ...

External links

  • Abbreviations.com — a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations
  • Acronym Finder — a human edited database of acronyms and abbreviations (over 550,000 entries)
  • All Acronyms — collection of acronyms and abbreviations (more than 600,000 definitions)
  • Special Dictionary Acronyms — searchable database of acronyms and abbreviations
  • The Great Abbreviations & Acronyms Hunt - three letter and four letter abbreviations

  Results from FactBites:
 
Acronym and initialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4079 words)
Acronyms, initialisms, and alphabetisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form.
Initialism originally referred to abbreviations formed from initials, without reference to pronunciation, but during the middle portion of the twentieth century, when they saw more use than ever before, the word acronym was coined for abbreviations which are pronounced as a word, like NATO or AIDS.
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.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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