Can you make an acronym out of a name that incorporates the @ symbol? For instance, can "People@Work" be "P@W" in the body of the document once it has been spelled out?

  • I think it's a matter of opinion. My opinion is it would be a bad idea, since people might mistakenly end up trying to email "PAW" using the wrong address. Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 13:34
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    Not a good idea, just write PW.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 14:12
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    It would help for you to edit to note the purpose of the acronym. For example, Marketing can claim artistic license for all sorts of things, and Legal Documents often have abbreviations that are clearly defined. On the other hand, a descriptive document would often be better served through clarity than brevity.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


These days the @ sign should probably be reserved for email addresses. Generally, when I make choices in this regard, I resist including anything other than letters in an acronym. So, for example, I recently suggested that N/A (for not applicable) be replaced with NA.

On the other hand, there are certain items that have a long history in the documents I deal with. For example, wt% is how we write "weight percent" an important unit for analysis. Lower case and the percent symbol, both being non-standard for acronyms.

So what you need to decide is, does this symbol represent a cultural issue that already exists in documents? If yes, then keep using it. If not, then try to stay tidy.

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