Acronyms

Acronyms are words formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as they are spelled, not as separate letters. Examples include:

acronym full form
Aids acquired immune deficiency syndrome
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

SIM (card)

subscriber identification module

 

  • Most acronyms can be written as capital letters or with only an initial capital letter.
  • Some acronyms are so established that they are now ‘normal’ words, generally used without conscious awareness of their original full form. These words should be written in lower-case letters. Examples include:

laser

light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation

radar

radio detection and ranging

quango

quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization

scuba

self-contained underwater breathing apparatus

 

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Shortenings

Contractions

Initialisms


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Grammar and usage