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

Subject: RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an)
From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <daviddowning -at- users -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 15:06:19 -0500

Replying to Leonard Porello's comment about how
"many words formed from initials defy easy categorization"
David Downing asked:> Can you provide some examples of what you mean?

I can't speak to what Leonard was specifically thinking of, the
lengthy Wikipedia article on acronyms identifies several classes
that don't fit neatly into the usual definitions.

Among the challenging cases are acronyms that have lost their
underlying expansion (e.g. there is no longer a British Petroleum
that is abbreviated as BP, and DVD no longer stands for either
"digital video disc" or "digital versatile disc"), recursive acronyms
(e.g. GNU stands for "GNU's not Unix"), and backronyms (cases
where an English phrase is created to match the letters of a
word or abbreviation that originated in some other way.)

> There's also another hybrid where the first letter is pronounced as a
> letter and the rest is pronounced as a word. The only example I can
> think of is JPEG, pronounced, "jay-peg," but I know there are others.

Dozens and dozens of them, many of which a lot of us use quite
frequently in our documents (technical communication tie-in for a
pretty marginal thread...) and some of which refer to products and
systems we use every day. Just a few off the top of my head:

MPEG (em-peg)
CD-ROM (see-dee-rom)
DRAM (dee-ram)
SRAM (ess-ram)
SDRAM (ess-dee-ram)
EPROM (eee-prom)
EEPROM (eee-eee-prom)
R-DAT (arr-dat)
MS-DOS (emm-ess-doss)
VTEC (vee-teck)
CPAP (see-pap)


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Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an): From: Nancy Allison
RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an): From: Leonard C. Porrello
RE: Proper definition for "acronym" (was A vs, an): From: Downing, David

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