An initialism is an abbreviation which consists of the initial components of a phrase or word, and which is mainly pronounced by spelling the initialism aloud.

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Is IOU an abbreviation, an acronym, or an initialism?

IOU stands for I owe you and we pronounce each letter separately. But how do we classify that construction"? abbreviation: a shortened form of a word or phrase acronym: an abbreviation formed from ...
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3answers
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Proper Apostrophe Usage with Initialisms: CCS' or CCS's?

I work with a company whose name is frequently reduced to an initialism (acronym). Let's say the name is "Cool Computer Systems" (CCS). I am engaged in an ongoing, bloody battle with the marketing ...
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Is there a term for words that are sounded out initialisms?

The words "okay" and "emcee" seem to both be somewhat widely accepted (at least, I can find both in several dictionaries). But it seems to be agreed that these are simply sounded-out spellings of the ...
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2answers
715 views

Can a word that sounds the same as the way it is spelt be an initialism and an acronym?

Initialisms are pronounced as words and acronyms are spelt letters. However, some words sound the same, said and spelt. e.g. Input Output can be abbreviated as IO. It can be spelt I-O or pronounced ...
23
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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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6answers
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Proper use of “TV”

It seems "TV" is always preferred when used as an abbreviation for "television" in informal writing, but is "tv" ever acceptable? (The capitalization seems to me to place undue emphasis on it.)
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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 (...
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Should there be a space between name initials?

In writing authors' initials in research papers (either in the author by-line or the bibliography), should there be a space between intials? R.P. Feynman R. P. Feynman What's the preferred way ...
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690 views

Is the term “KTV” in use in any English-speaking country?

While travelling recently for two months in mainland China I noticed many buildings with the English letters KTV in their signage. At first I thought this was something to do with company names or ...
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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 acronym?...
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739 views

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 ...
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1answer
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Pluralizing abbreviations where the noun is not the last word

For abbreviations - both acronyms and initialisms - where the last word in the abbreviation is the noun, I'm accustomed to adding an 's' with no apostrophe (e.g. ATMs), as described in the answer to ...
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Proper to add tense to acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms

What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? asked about pluralising acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms, but is there a standard way to add verb endings e.g. -ing and -ed (what are these ...