Re: Articles with Acronyms

Subject: Re: Articles with Acronyms
From: Jan Boomsliter <boom -at- CADENCE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 08:57:02 -0800

IF an acronym is a subset of abbreviations that are pronounced as
words,

THEN the use of the article is dictated by the pronunciation of
the acronym.

Yer welcome.
jb
==========================
Kelly Burhenne asks:

|} Question: When using an acronym (as you all know, very prevalent in our
|} profession) preceded by an article, should you use the article that
|} agrees with the first word the acronym represents, or use the article
|} that agrees with the pronunciation of the acronym.
|}
|} e.g.: an FTP
|} a FTP
|}
|} a SS2000 (SiteScan 2000)
|} or an SS2000
|}

Use the article that agrees with the most common or standardly accepted
pronunciation of it. For example, the acronym MOSFET stands for
Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor and is most commonly
pronounced moss-fet. So ``a MOSFET'' is correct.

FTP is most commonly pronounced eff-tee-pee, but that one is a trick
question since I cannot tell from the above whether you are using
FTP to refer to the protocol, in which case, use the definite article
`the,' (as there is only one) or to the NCSA software which is, confusingly,
also called ftp, though frequently in lower case. This would allow ftp
to be used as a modifier, as in ``an ftp command line.''

Simple. Tune in next time, when Steve argues with anyone who will
listen, about whether ``the .align directive,'' is pronounced
dot-align or just align. Should be fun.

_______________ _____
/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "But what else would you expect them to say
to defend themselves? They are writers; they are professional liars."
-- Harlan Ellison

_______________ _____
/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "But what else would you expect them to say
to defend themselves? They are writers; they are professional liars."
-- Harlan Ellison


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