I wanted to say this to somebody today, but couldn't find the word for it (neither in my head nor via Google).

I have a task that acronyms would be better-suited to. Instead of saying "I want to create acronyms from these location names", I wanted to say, "let's just acronym them" to my colleague, but it sounded all kinds of wrong in my head so I kept quiet.

For example, I have a list of entries in a field that I need to refer to within a data processing script that I have built, and I decided that rather than the system I have built looking for "Site One, Location 2", it would be better to have the system look for "SOL2".

Is there a word and/or term that describes the intention (not the process) of creating an acronym from a given set of words?

  • 1
    I'd call that abbreviating them. That way, you are free to end with SOL2 or with S1L2. Feb 17, 2021 at 16:51
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure that the majority view on ELU that while 'NASA' is an acronym, 'USA' isn't. It's an initialism. Feb 17, 2021 at 16:54
  • You ask for a term that describes the intention, (and specifically not the process) but your example sentence uses the process. I'm having difficulty coming up with a real-world example sentence that would require a word meaning "the intent to create an acronym" In fact, I think there's very few verbs that have corresponding "intent to verb" word associated with them. Your honor, he clearly came to work today with "acronym-forming on the brain".
    – Jim
    Feb 17, 2021 at 19:41


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