Acronyms are words which were created by taking the first letter (or several letters) of each word of a phrase.

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What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym?

For example, if I wanted to write the equivalent of There are many automated teller machines in this city. Would it be There are many ATMs in this city. or There are many ATM's in ...
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7answers
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Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?

99% of the time, I'm clear on when I should use "a" versus "an." There's one case, though, where people & references I respect disagree. Which of the following would you precede with "a" or "an," ...
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8answers
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Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?

When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, ...
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5answers
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Hip Hip Hooray!

I am looking for the etymology and history of the cheer “Hip Hip Hooray”. I’m curious due to its interesting entry in Wikipedia, which reads thusly: The call was recorded in England in the ...
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5answers
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Opposite of acronym

If U.N. is the acronym of United Nations, then United Nations is the what of U.N.? Is there an opposite of acronym?
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What is the correct pronunciation of “AJAX”?

I have wondered for a while about how I should pronounce "AJAX" (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). I usually say "I-acs", as in the Amsterdam football club, but should I say "a-jacs" (as it looks in ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Why is the plural acronym “CSS” treated as singular?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, which is a plural phrase. One would say: Cascading Style Sheets are used to provide a central location for all of the stylings of a project. However, it ...
13
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5answers
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What is the commonly accepted pronunciation of FAQ?

I hear FAQ(s) pronounced like a word in "FACK(s)", while I go letter by letter. In usage, what is more common? (Similar to SQL vs Sequel)
12
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4answers
837 views

Why did they spell it “URL’s”?

I was reading this documentation file of some software and note the plural spelling of this abbreviation is “URL’s”. Why isn’t it “URLs”?
12
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1answer
597 views

Usage of YMMV: Can I use it in day-to-day conversation?

I found the word YMMV in an answer to my question "How important to write down mission statement in learning English? Do I have to?", which I posted on January 6. As YMMV is a quite strange word to ...
12
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3answers
36k views

Difference between an acronym and abbreviation?

TLA is an acronym for "Three Letter Acronym". Is it also an abbreviation, since it abbreviates the original phrase?
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2answers
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“PIN Number” — why do we say it?

We often say "PIN Number", this is part of everyday conversation. But why? PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, so what we're actually saying is Personal Identification Number Number. Is ...
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4answers
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AM/PM vs a.m./p.m. vs am/pm

I used to think PM/AM was correct, but at some point, I switched to using p.m./a.m. for reasons I can't recall. I know that in practical, casual writing, people tend to use whatever form is most ...
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4answers
2k views

How to pronounce “AKA”?

How do you pronounce the acronym AKA (also known as)?
8
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2answers
901 views

What's the meaning of 'TRWTF '?

TRWTF is they were running as root, at a nuclear sciences research facility! TRWTF is that the World Cup was in South Africa. What's the detailed meaning of the above sentences? How many ...
8
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2answers
295 views

Is there a word for the definition of an acronym?

I can describe "IMHO" as an acronym for "in my humble opinion." How can I describe the reverse processes of translating the acronym into the actual phrase? That is to say, if "IMHO" is the acronym, ...
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4answers
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Proper capitalization of commonly used acronyms

I was always under impression, that acronyms ought to be written all caps. However reading BBC News site very often I see some of the common acronyms written as proper names (first cap). For example ...
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5answers
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Correct capitalization for “of” in an acronym definition

For an acronym that includes the word "of", do you capitalize its usage within the definition (or expansion) of the acronym For example, in the follow sentence: My coworker Steve suffers from ...
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4answers
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Are the acronyms FYI, BTW, LOL, WTF now considered “normal” words?

Are these "words" moving out of the elitist slang stage and into popular usage? It is hard for me to tell, because in the techie culture I work in they are ubiquitous. However, I've tried them out ...
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2answers
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Is it appropriate to treat “FYI” as a noun?

Since FYI stands for "for your information", I would tend to use it like this: FYI, I think the fish has gone bad. In other words, the acronym simply replaces the phrase. However, I've heard FYI ...
7
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2answers
215 views

“An SATA device”? Weird article choice in suggested edit

This question references a suggested edit I rejected on Super User. The edit suggested that the a in There's no way you're plugging any of those directly into a SATA interface. be changed to ...
7
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2answers
186 views

What is the correct way to define an acronym when its first appearance is plural? [closed]

The question and answers posed in What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? deals very nicely with acronym (and possibly initialism) usage. What about the case when you are defining the ...
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5answers
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Why use BCE/CE instead of BC/AD?

When I was a kid, I was always taught to refer to years using BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini / year of our Lord). However, I somewhat regularly hear people referring to years as in the CE ...
6
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2answers
548 views

How do we pronounce the acronym CMYK?

How does one pronounce the acronym CMYK, in the color model sense. If there is more than one pronunciation, how popular is each of them?
6
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6answers
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Do “normal people” know the terms URL and GUI?

Would an English-speaking but non-technical audience be familiar with the terms URL (in the sense of link, web address) and GUI (Graphical User Interface), for example in a manual aimed at end users? ...
6
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7answers
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LEDs and the correct pronunciation

The LED is quickly becoming a standard light source alternative to incandescent lights, when speaking to others, I have always pronounced any reference to LED as the acronym "L E D", but increasingly ...
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1answer
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Using the definite article with acronyms and initialisms

I'm wondering when to use or not to use the definite article, when using acronyms or initialisms in a sentence. Is there a rule for this, or does it depend on the context? For example, let's look at ...
6
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3answers
752 views

Past participle of a verb created from an acronym

Standard GPL would require that those applications be GPL'd (or compatible licensing), whereas LGPL requires only the library's source to be made available. Is the use of words like GPL'd common ...
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2answers
374 views

Is CAPTCHA a contrived acronym?

While I understand why USA PATRIOT is a contrived acronym, I don't understand if CAPTCHA should be considered a contrived acronym. Is CAPTCHA a contrived acronym? Why?
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2answers
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In baseball, is it proper to pluralize “RBI”?

In baseball, an RBI is a Run(s) batted in. So it's already "plural". So if I were to say, Paul Konerko had five RBIs. Is that correct, or should I say Paul Konerko had five RBI.
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3answers
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Proper Timezone Acronym Usage - PT vs PDT or PST

What is the difference with using PT (Pacific Time) vs PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) or PST (Pacific Standard Time)? When you write the time, 2:00pm PT, would that be considered incorrect because it is ...
5
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3answers
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Is an apostrophe with a decade (e.g. 1920’s) generally considered “incorrect”?

I typically don’t use an apostrophe with plurals in any situation, but I always assumed that the use of an apostrophe in constructions like acronyms: Forty BA’s were given out to students this ...
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2answers
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When does an acronym lose its capitalization, e.g. RaDAR 'radar'?

The reason that I ask is because this is happening to LiDAR, and I am inclined to use lidar because it is easier to read.
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2answers
539 views

Is the meaning of the acronym “FAQ” generally understood?

When people see the acronym FAQ, I wonder if they really know what it stands for or whether they just understand the concept. Is this true for most native English speakers?
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2answers
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What does “wrt” mean? [closed]

What is the meaning of wrt in the following text? I think this is an excellent idea, but I'd like to see this explicitly reframed under the banner of providing Drupal.org data through ...
4
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3answers
924 views

Is the acronym PIGS (or PIIGS) offensive?

To my Spanish ears, the acronym PIGS (for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) or PIIGS (for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) sounds offensive. The Spanish equivalent “cerdo” is a strong word ...
4
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2answers
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What does N.B. stand for?

I have received letters for years, and some of the most common things in letters are post-scripts, however, there are also these funny little "N.B." which obviously do not stand for Post Script. What ...
4
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2answers
368 views

How do I correctly pluralize acronyms? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? Plural form of the acronym LASER I was just writing an email asking a supervisor about downloading multiple ...
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2answers
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Is there a Latin, or English, phrase or acronym for “in summary”?

Is there something similar to TLDR that can be used in professional emails and messages?
4
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1answer
605 views

Is there an equivalent for French “CQFD”

In French, when concluding a demonstration, we say "CQFD", which stands for "Ce Qu'il Fallait Démontrer". Do English has an equivalent for this ?
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4answers
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Pronouncing acronyms

I've noticed that some people in my office spell out "data import tool" as D. I. T., whereas others will say "dit" (like "ditty"). Is trying to pronounce an acronym as a word, as opposed to spelling ...
4
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2answers
925 views

Is there a word for an acronym which spells out one of its component words?

The example I am thinking of is GNU, which stands for "GNU's not unix". It may be that there are no other examples. And maybe that's the whole joke. I was just wondering.
4
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1answer
358 views

Can the word 'BFF' be applied to decent adults like Senate members?

The beginning lines of today’s New York Times article titled “As State of the Union Nears, Congress Plays Musical Chairs” provided me with a set of interesting acronym, word, and idiom new to me, such ...
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3answers
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Pluralization of acronyms ending in 'S'

What is the proper way to pluralize acronyms ending in the letter 'S'? The particular acronym under study in this case is T.A.R.D.I.S. The various forms I believe are correct are: TARDISes ...
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5answers
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When did the use of acronyms begin? [closed]

What are some of the earliest acronyms and did they know it was an acronym at the time?
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2answers
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What is the acronym for a minor in a subject at a university?

I'm filling out a resume and need to list my education. For my bachelor's degree, it's just "B.S. Whatever", no problem. I also have a minor. What is the acronym that I should use for this?
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Is it acceptable to omit the last period of an acronym?

After reading this post, I was struck by the omission of the period (full stop) at the end of the acronym given. A.V.C I've never seen this before here in the States. Is it permissible here? In ...
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2answers
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How to pronounce acronyms with apostrophes?

Simple question: How do you pronounce acronyms when they're used with apostrophe to express possession? For example: In the NIH's high-risk, high-reward programmes, “if an idea isn't developing ...
3
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2answers
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Which punctuation should be used for spelling out acronyms?

Is "COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)" more correct, or would "COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease]" be right?
3
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2answers
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Is the second period necessary after an abbreviation?

Which one of the following is correct? only in the continental U.S.A. For all other countries... only in the continental U.S.A.. For all other countries... I am not sure if I need two periods ...