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Should we use only the first part of a hyphenated compound word to coin an initialism/acronym?

E.g. would "on-site detector circuit" become OSDC or ODC?

Or does it depend on the particular hyphenated word?

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There are plenty of posts on this site related to acronyms/initialisms, but I couldn't see one that directly addressed your question. However, a bit of sleuthing came up with the following.

First, note that OSDC and ODC are initialisms, as the capitals are not pronounced as a single word but instead are pronounced individually - see here.

Regarding hyphens, this answer quotes from the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), and while the quotation doesn't explicitly refer to hyphens, it includes the following example:

[transmission-control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP)]

Based on that example, it can be assumed that the CMS would render your "on-site detector circuit" as OSDC.

  • But the word "control" may be specifically important to include to reduce ambiguity, whereas the word "site" offers little to no extra value. I suppose it's a start though ☺. – jiggunjer Jul 12 '16 at 4:41
  • Yes, good point. And while consistency in style is important, I think the primary consideration must be to avoid confusion, so it really comes down to a judgement on whether including the "S" helps the target audience to quickly grasp what the term means. You are probably in the best position to judge that. – Chappo Jul 12 '16 at 4:59

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