Big businesses might use acronyms to make them stand out or just to shorten a long name. For example would ME for Maine come before MA for Massachusetts? It seems like it should be required but Id be interested in your take on it. But if you are speaking to or writing for a general audience, its not an error to generalize all words and labels created from initials or parts of words under the broad term acronym. But, what is the difference between an acronym and initialism? My personal favorite is W for tungsten (aka wolfram). Its just an abbreviation. Note: The word initialism illustrated by OED citations dated 1899 and 1928 was not being used in the modern sense of initials used to identify an entity like the FBI. The common thread I see from your post is that if it rolls off the tongue nicely then its an acronym and if it doesnt, its an initialism. The past and present definitions may be near enough to be applied to both in modern context (excepting for the concept of hidden identity). NL is ot a symbol for NL Industries. M.D.

We consider MOVES to be an acronym, since it is an abbreviation that is pronounced as a word. People who come up with names for medical research studies do this all the time. Companion pieces arent only meant to serve as promotion for your upcoming bookthey also offer you a chance to break apart the different themes of your work to attract a larger audience. Your email address will not be published. @Roberta B. I think youre right, and that is what a symbol is at its heart, and why they call them symbols on Wall Street. Well, yes it is an error, because initialisms arent acronyms. But I have (and do) take an acronym to be, specifically, a set of initials pronounced as if it were a word, e.g. When you say these abbreviations, youll say the full word but you know exactly what they mean in writing. Since the word members is not part of the title of the group, it should not be included in the abbreviation. The idea of single word in abbreviation is not identical to the idea of multiple words as conjoined in a name. What about LOL, for laughing out loud? By signing in, you agree to our Terms and Conditions ), DFAC Dining Facility GeoINT Geospacial Intelligence CONOPS Concept of Operations. Is there any rule that explains why initialisms such as CNN or CNBC do not normally take an article? These dated citations from the OED show that from 1940 to the 21st century, what some speakers now prefer to call initialisms have been called acronyms since the word was adopted into English: 1947 The acronym DDTtrips pleasantly on the tongue and is already a household byword. You can find them all over the place from the different departments to laws. This is, of course, one of the Great Problems of Our Age and thankfully there are people like me to fret about it. Sadly, neither you nor I are the arbiters of right and wrong. But Merriam Websters Dictionary says that the initialism RBI can be pluralized either with or without the s. MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) -what type is this? Check out a few that you might already know. I would say that an initialism is a not (easily) pronounceable type of acronym, like FBI (fuh-BEE?) Both are simple abbreviations. He changes it to central nervous system (CNS). Is it CPAs or CPAs? if you are speaking to or writing for a general audience, its not an error to generalize all words and labels created from initials or parts of words under the broad term acronym. Thanks! NATO, AIDS, WASP) in that they are not words formed from the initial letters of subsequent parts. We recommend you use parentheses, and do it this way: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). How would this be correctly abbreviated ABM or ABm? With a hope for their readers to find themselves among the pages, O.E. When creating an acronym that has an compound word such as Homecare in it, should the word be represented by two letters or one in the acronym? Initialisms are featured in politics, corporate branding, scientific and medical terminology, and casual conversation alike. For example, must Christ-centered Educational Excellence be written as C-cEE or would it be acceptable to be written as CCEE? DVD Acronym vs. Initialism vs. Thanks alot. You are right, too, that chemical abbreviations are sometimes taken from non-English names for the elements. I mean, nobody calls lead plumbum. Still, they are letters, which are a very specific type of symbol, and therefore I elect venqax, who worries about this enough for perhaps my entire county, to come up with a new name for symbols when the symbols consist of letters , I had to laugh at this. Lazy. However, initialisms include other terms in which the letters are pronounced, including FBI (for Federal Bureau of Investigation), SOS (for Save Our Ship), and IDK (for I Don't Know). Nowadays the plural of CPA is generally written CPAs. As the post states, Initialisms are abbreviations that are pronounced one letter at a time, and Acronyms are abbreviations that are pronounced as words. An example of an initialism with more than three letters is NAACP. Most readers probably know that an acronym is an invented word made up of the initial letters or syllables of other words, like NASA or NATO. If institutions need a definite article, why NATO doesnt? But heres my question: Why not just call CIA, FBI and the like initials? Because that is exactly what they are. Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration Abbreviated M.A., M.S., but MBA. The reason these are differentiated in my mind is that they are shortened words, and not made by the initials of many words put together. Should there be a period after the r or not? I however refuse to. There is no rule regarding how to refer to a proper noun using a shortened version. after individual words in a list. If theres any doubt readers might not know the abbreviation, use the full job title, certified public accountant, in the at some point in the text. After all, nobody pronounces LAN as an abbreviation, nor GIF DOS etc. Example:1) BMW. Quotation marks are not necessary when writing an acronym. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1971). It is the nature of active, living languages that as soon as a rule is set down, exceptions arise. This is not something new. Thank you for your help. So if its a letter, call it a letter, and leave that symbol-calling for those thingamabobs that arent letters and for which there is no other term. Were trying, but truncaviation seems cumbersome, doesnt it? English speakers split the difference between initialisms and acronyms simply by pronouncing certain abbreviations per their individual letters, and other times as single words. Abbreviations are abbreviated (or shortened) forms of words and phrases. Since a symbol is defined as any graphic that represents a meaning accepted by a general consensus, these letters (individually or as groups) can and would be considered symbols.. The English Rules section on Hyphens in the Blue Book and our website discusses compound words. The total number of non-farm workers employed in the United States has been published monthly since 1939. Ellen Jovin discusses how her pop-up grammar advice stand led to her new nonfiction book, Rebel with a Clause. 2022 LoveToKnow Media. For example, the ticker symbol for the Coca Cola company stock is KO. A mnemonic is something that helps people remember something (such as a rule or a list of names). For example: Arbys (theres some disagreement on whether it really stands for roast beef). Businesses frequently use initialisms as part of their branding, usually as a way of improving out-of-date, extra long, or not-quite-global phrasing.

I look forward to your guidance. NATO is an acronym ( an initialism pronounced as a word). I know someone who insists on using URL as an acronym. Also, he's the editor of Writer's Market, Poet's Market, and Guide to Literary Agents. Our church is writing a procedures manual. The word hazmat is an example of blending, and is known as a portmanteau word. Other scientific papers seem to use my method. Initialisms in government are so common that theyve coined their own joke: alphabet soup. The use of initialisms in politics around the world reflects a shared need to save time and space without losing specificity. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Doctors and nurses are busy. I was wondering this exact thing about some of these DoD shortenings. The first word is pronounced and the rest are sn acronym. -Simon.

flower pot vs. flower-pot); while blends must be composed only of shortened part of words and are always written as one word not with a hyphen or separately (smog = smoke + fog). When putting states in alphabetical order by their abbreviations, would it be by the full state spelling or the abbreviation.

What do you call a word that sounds like the initials of something else? They are unlike abbreviations (e.g., Dr., lb., U.S.) in that they have no period and are considered complete words in their own right. I was thinking the first time the name appears, use the official full name, but then everywhere following, Church of the Epiphany or Epiphany, as long as one is consistently used. Secretary of Defense abbreviates to SecDef, not to SD. A.) This week, write an escape poem. You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed! Should there be dot(.) I often see The EU, the ECB and NATO in one sentence. For instance, I define Central Nervous System (CNS) in my work for later use as an acronym with capitalisations. Q. Review a few common examples. desert Neither is considered an acronym. In the case of FBI, I notice it is an abbreviation (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and as such would be written a FBI not an FBI. Like etymology itself, my own opinion is not set in stone. fowerpot) and these words can also be written separately or with a hyphen (e.g. Check out how acronyms compare to initialisms. Keeping in mind those 4 tenets of reason, I offer my views. The others are simply initialisms (pronounced one letter at a time). Still reported these days, it is known colloquially as the monthly jobs report; but its official title is the All Employees Total Nonfarm Payrolls. It is called PAYEMS by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and other agencies. There are caases where a should be used with the spelled-out version of the pharase while speaking an acronym sounds better using an. For example, if I need to write a standard operating procedure, I might also need to write an SOP. If you do a Google search of bank of england the responses on the first three pages come back with Bank of England. What about shortening the name of an organization on internal documents? Dang it! Copyright by Jane Straus/GrammarBook.com. They didnt call it Improved Outcomes in Coronary Artery Disease because IOICAD doesnt sound as nice as ENRICHD LOL, @venqax For Wall Street ticker symbols and symbols on the periodic table of elements (chemistry), the grouping of letters are not necessarily an abbreviation, but a representation of the name. Great distinctions: abbreviations vs. initialisms vs. acronyms! Is that an acronym or an initialism? For example, JPEG/JPG is pronounced j-peg. Only initialisms that can be pronounced as a word (as opposed to pronouncing each letter in the initialism) count as acronyms.

2022 Active Interest Media All Rights Reserved. The Chicago Manual of Style says, Use no periods with abbreviations that appear in full capitals, whether two letters or more and even if lowercase letters appear within the abbreviation. Examples include MD and PhD. Which is correct for a business name? Examples: But I strenuously object! While a letter is a symbol, it is very specific symbol that is part of specific symbol set called the Alphabet. Abbreviation With Examples. Abbreviationis the shortened form of a word or phrase intended to speed up communication and/or use fewer symbols. If you have trouble understanding the difference between an abbreviation, acronym, and initialism, don't worry: They're easy to mix up. As youre aware from the post, an initialism is an abbreviation that is pronounced one letter at a time. An abbreviation in my mind is simply a clipped or shortened version of a term corp., inc., Calif., or even memo or fax are abbreviations. A group of initial letters used as an abbreviation for a name or expression, each letter or part being pronounced separately; an initialism (such as, A word formed from the initial letters of other words or (occasionally) from the initial parts of syllables taken from other words, the whole being pronounced as a single word (such as. A related question: should of be capitalized in an initialism word? We provide rules, guidance, and examples based on the recommendations of various authorities on American English grammar and punctuation, including The Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press Stylebook, Fowlers Modern English Usage, Bernsteins The Careful Writer, and many others. It is often pronounced as a word. The government is not without its acronyms. Im currently writing my thesis for my PhD (Im English) and my supervisor is German keeps removing my capitalisations when I define an acronym.