RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an)

Subject: RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an)
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- users -dot- com>
To: "Nancy Allison" <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 09:42:31 -0600

And the whole matter is further complicated by the fact that some things
that used to be initialisms are now being pronounced as words. The one
I've encountered most recently in my work is "smee" -- like the
character in Peter Pan -- for SME. And URL didn't used to be pronounced
"earl." What's next. Are people going to start talking about taking the
"grees" to get into grad school? (I once cracked everybody up at a
benefits meeting by saying, "Now if I decide to get a hmoe ... ")

-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Allison [mailto:maker -at- verizon -dot- net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 10:16 AM
To: Downing, David
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an)


Ah, one of my pet obssessions (as in, "Did I dream this? Wasn't this
true once long ago?")

I learned there were three distinct categories of *shortened phrases*,
for lack of a better term:

---Abbreviations: initial letters of a phrase, that do not create a word

or word-like collection of letters. Example: FBI. BLM. CBS. etc., etc.

---Acronyms: initial letters that create a word or word-like thingy:
RADAR, CREEP (my fave), etc., etc.

---I cannot remember! But there WAS one! Maybe it was for the word-like
thingies (RADAR) and acronyms were only for real words (CREEP).


One of these decades I will trawl through a bunch of elderly reference
books and see if I can find that original set of terms. I know there
were three! I know it, I know it! (She said, shaking her blue-veined
fists impotently) . . .

Gawd sometimes I feel so old.
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References:
RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an): From: Nancy Allison

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