Consider the following sentence:

"Those elements are called Super Elements (SE)".

It is ok to write like that ? Or should I write:

"Those elements are called super elements (SE)".

or would it be better to also use italics?

"Those elements are called Super Elements (SE)".


"Those elements are called Super Elements (SE)".


  • This will depend on the Style Guide of the publication you are writing for. If you are writing for yourself, then you can do it however you want. – Hellion Jul 30 '14 at 18:44

"Those elements are called Super Elements (SE)"

I would weigh in on capitalization without italicization. Since your end goal is to make it known that 'Super Element' is going to be denoted as 'SE', the capitalization should be used at the very least. Italics are most commonly used to make something stick out in a block of text. It is like a note to the reader that the word has added emphasis or meaning.

Sonar and Laser also show this type of layout in capitalization.

In addition, it may be appropriate to mention that 'SE' in your case would be an initialism as opposed to an acronym. Acronyms are pronounced as if they were words, whereas an initialism is stated one letter at a time. Just some fun knowledge to realize how the term acronym is widely used as a blanket statement =).

Examples: Clicky

  • Thanks! Interesting to know the difference between acronym/initialism. – Phil Jul 30 '14 at 17:55

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