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Questions tagged [acronyms]

Acronyms are words which were created by taking the first letter (or several letters) of each word of a phrase.

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Why are some initialisms sometimes spelled with a slash? E.g. O/S for Operating System [duplicate]

I've only ever seen this practice used to refer to "Operating System" with "O/S", but according to The Free Dictionary there are a few more. Why is the slash in the middle sometimes used? Isn't "OS" ...
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Should one use “an” or an “a” before an acronym beginning with the letter H? [duplicate]

Consider the sentence: He offered to be an HSC. vs: He offered to be a HSC. In the example above, HSC stands for Health Service Consultant. If one were saying the sentence aloud, one would ...
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1answer
70 views

Email subject line is all the information I want to convey. How to instruct the sender (in the subject line itself) to not open the email body?

I want to write an email (to my boss) in which all the information is conveyed in the subject line itself: "Won't be doing the Strawberry Project" "Your work is in process" "Come quick. Party ...
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Spelling out acronyms in Appendices [closed]

If an acronym is spelled out in the body of the document but is also used in multiple Appendices, is the acronym spelled out again in each appendix?
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1answer
37 views

Using an acronym with a name that incorporates the @ symbol

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?
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102 views

How commonly used / understood is the “BR” signature?

In Finland, in informal correspondence over email in English I often see the acronym "BR" or "Br" used in the signature before the name, and I've seen some people from at least Germany do the same. I ...
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1answer
53 views

Why is there no space between U. and S. in U.S. Government? [duplicate]

It appears that when U.S. Government agencies type "U.S.", they do not enter a space between the U. and the S. Is this used elsewhere on acronyms? Why or why not?
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106 views

Past tense of MOT? [duplicate]

I'm usually quite good at this kind of thing but can't decide on this. When describing when a car has had its MOT (Ministry of Transport) test do I write... Recently MOTd Recently MOT'd Recently ...
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1answer
71 views

Is there a list of words that don't need their own letters in an acronym?

When building an acronym, there are occasionally small words that can "slip through the cracks". For example, U.S.A actually stands for United States of America. NASA stands for National Aeronautics ...
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3answers
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Tag (the game) = “Touch and Go”?

I have been seeing the following post making the rounds on social media today: How old were you when you learned that the game TAG stands for "Touch and Go"? I was today years old... Now even ...
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3answers
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What type of word is SeQueL called, when you pronounce the abbreviation SQL as “SeQueL”

In database technology there is a standard called "Structured Query Language", which is abbreviated as SQL. However, some people pronounce SQL as "SeQueL". If SQL is an "abbreviation" or "acronym" - ...
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317 views

The curious case of “UChi” and its pronunciation

The Free Dictionary tells me that UCHI is the acronym for The University of Chicago. But if that were the case, shouldn't it be TUOC? I visited the official university website and it says said Our ...
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1answer
82 views

Adding the 'the' article for proper noun and abbreviation? [duplicate]

As a part-time English tutorial teacher who isn't specialized in language, I would like to ask about article usage for proper nouns and abbreviations. Do you add 'the' for the following sentences? "I ...
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23 views

Acronyms and plurals

My first use of the term is as a plural - do I follow it with the plural or the singular acronym in brackets? I have several personal identification numbers (PINs) to remember or I have several ...
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1answer
109 views

Do all acronyms need to be capitalized? [duplicate]

Acronyms are almost always capitalized, think: BBC HTML ASAP etc. Sometimes though acronyms are not capitalized. Even the license at the bottom of this page is written as: cc by-sa 3....
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2answers
80 views

Capital letters in own defined acronyms

I am writing my PhD thesis, and I want to use the acronym "DOM" referring to "Domain Optimization Method", as I use a lot that expression throughout the document. At the moment of defining it (i.e. ...
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1answer
318 views

Articles with initialisms: 'the' or no 'the', can both be correct?

(Skip to the end for the actual question.) Definitions According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, an initialism is: "An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately". According ...
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1answer
44 views

Blending capitalisation and abbreviation [closed]

Is there a term that describes the process of capitalising words to identify them with an acronym? For example when writing about MS (multiple sclerosis), text can be something like "my Micro ...
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41 views

What if an acronym has no singular form?

Do you need to add the s to an acronym that has no singular form? Specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).
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41 views

In a document, when I only use an acronym once, does it need to be listed in the appendix?

I have a manual and there are a few instances where I'm only using an acronym for a term once - I never mention that term again in the document. At the end of the document when I list all the acronyms,...
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1answer
44 views

Should I capitalize the acronym of a word?

I would like to know how I should write the abbreviation of a phrase, or an acronym. To be more clear I give you an example: Hosch is a german word, which is the abbreviation of the name of the ...
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1answer
140 views

What does SFM on a map mean?

I am reading the book A Voyage for Madman by Peter Nichols. There are some maps on some pages. On those maps, I see the acronym "SFM" and have no idea what it means. I looked SFM up on Google and I ...
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1answer
671 views

Plurals of acronyms on BBC website [duplicate]

Sinn Féin has confirmed that one of their MLA's has removed a clamp from the front wheel of his car, using what appears to be bolt cutters, in Belfast. This is from the BBC website. I know the ...
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1answer
429 views

How is it called when we follow an acronym with a word already in the acronym? [duplicate]

Example: PIN Number (PIN=Personal Identification Number), no need to repeat number RSVP please (RSVP=Answer please in French), no need to say please again etc.
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How should “UNC” in the context of networking be pronounced?

How should UNC (Universal Naming Convention) be pronounced? "unk" "you en see" In a sentence, should it be "a UNC share" or "an UNC share"? A Google search for "a unc" -carolina results in about ...
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1answer
1k views

Acronym of abbreviation for “At the time of writing this document”?

I'm wondering if there is some special abbreviation for "At the time of writing this document". I am writing a document that contains names of individuals to contact in certain scenarios, and it is ...
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1answer
2k views

“a” versus “an” before an acronym that begins with the letter “U” [duplicate]

I have an unusual situation related to the well-worn topic of when to use a/an before an acronym. We all know that the SOUND is what dictates which to use. So, for example, this is correct: "If an ...
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1answer
164 views

When did 'RINO' begin to be used as an acronym for 'Republican in name only'?

Instances in print of the phrase "Republican in name only"—referring to members of the Republican party who, in the writer's opinion, lack sufficient devotion to what the writer regards as the core ...
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2answers
479 views

Why does fMRI start with a lowercase letter? [duplicate]

Why does fMRI start with a lowercase f? As it stands for functional in functional magnetic resonance imaging. The fMRI Wikipedia page has a history section, but it does not explain why a lowercase f ...
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38 views

Acronym Rules / Logic [duplicate]

I’m trying to identify what / if any rules or patterns exist in the world of acronyms. For example, initially I thought it was one letter per word (e.g. FBI) but then realised this approach is ...
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Pluralization of acronyms [duplicate]

I have seen the following questions: Pluralization of acronyms ending in 'S', What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? or Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or ...
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1answer
588 views

What is the correct word for “acronymed”?

First of all, I am not a native English speaker, so that's why I'm having an issue with this one. I am under the impression that an abbreviation is the shortening of something, like boulevard = blvd, ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do we say GBP instead of UKP?

I was torn between posting this here or on finance SE. I feel it's more likely to get useful answers here, if you disagree please comment. It is common for the UK pound (£) to be referred to as GBP, ...
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1answer
359 views

On the usage of “the” article with acronyms and initialisms

I've read Using the definite article with acronyms and initialisms and Is it appropriate to use "the" before an abbreviation? I know that 1. The article is often used with initials that are ...
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2answers
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We are physicists and we are arguing over the use of “a” and “an” [duplicate]

Here is the situation. I am in an office full of physicists and one physicist is writing his PhD Thesis. Fundamentally, he wants to know whether he should type "an SV" or "a SV" into the computer. SV ...
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1answer
443 views

What does SVO stand for? [closed]

A newbie user question about acronym used today: "SVO." I'm puzzled as to what it could be. What is SVO pray tell? something verb order?
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The proper way to write UA'ed?

If that's even possible. I'm trying to say someone got a urine analysis; this is in a heavily stylized novel, first-person narration. Regardless, there must be a proper way to say it. U.A.ed (?) UAed ...
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Acronym-laden language-help! [closed]

I know that it's proper to spell out the term and show the acronym in an document upon its first use. After that, one should use the acronym. However, I struggle with continuously simply using ...
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3answers
14k views

Single word for the “estimated time of completion”

Is there a single word which can replace the phrase "Estimated time of Completion"? Obviously, there is ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) but it doesn't fit my context as is explained below. I have ...
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0answers
94 views

Is “ID” an acronym or abbreviation, or something else? [duplicate]

"ID" or "Id", which in my computer science context often refers to "identifier", seems to be neither an acronym nor an abbreviation. The word is used both in code, but also in documentation and other ...
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199 views

Proper Acronym Pronunciation

Alright, I want to know about the elephant in the room: "GIF," but I want to talk about it with respect to "JPEG" So 9gag (and hence Big Bang Theory - the TV show) informs me that "GIF" is pronounced ...
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4answers
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What does “l. s. d.” stand for?

Here is the original text from Lord Macaulay’s History of England: They are the men of double entry, magnifying routine. In business they have added mechanical device to mechanical device, they ...
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2answers
395 views

Acronym Capitalization Rules [duplicate]

What is the capitalization rule for acronyms? E.g., why "radar" and not "RADAR" but "NATO" and not "nato"?
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37 views

Proper way to write a acronym that's become a verb [duplicate]

In the Unix programming world there's a command called cd. It stands for Change Directory. From what I can research it's at least 35 years old. I often hear at my job "Then we'll cd into ". With ...
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3answers
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Is there a term for embedding an acronym or initialism inside a friendlier-sounding name for a desired effect?

At my job I have created an application which supplements the functions of the main system the employees use during the day. The main system is referred to with a Three Letter Abbreviation (TLA). ...
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1answer
348 views

What is the meaning of OCB?

In a scene from the second episode of the TV miniseries Top of the Lake, the lead character (a New Zealand police officer) discovers a dead body floating in the sea. She does not enter into the water, ...
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1answer
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The recent trend of saying the acronym instead of the sentence/phrase is stands for

With the advent of SMS, many common phrases were shortened to WTF, OMG, BTW, etc. And in recent years, with the increased use of these "acronyms", people have started using them in speech too: Saying "...
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2answers
653 views

“VIP” and the acronym fad of the '30s.

VIP, the acronym for Very Important Person, is from the 1930s, a boom decade for initialisms, according to www.wordorigins.org. Both Etymonline and the The Dictionary of American Slang say that its ...
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1answer
75 views

Is there a distinct term for acronyms with multi-letter parts?

Is there a distinct term for acronyms with multi-letter parts, particularly in title case? My motivating examples are: Conventions: BlizzCon, NyCon II, WonderCon (nee Wonderful World of Comics ...
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185 views

Pronunciation of FEIN as acronym in US

According to Wikipedia, FEIN is an abbreviation for Federal Employer Identification Number in the US. Cursory googling shows me that as a name, it could be pronounced fine or like faint, and in german,...