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    #1

    Acronyms & Initialisms

    Hi everyone,

    I've learned that there are acronyms and initialisms such as:-

    NATO - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (an acromyn pronounced as a word)
    and
    CIA - Central Intelligence Agency (an initialism where each letter is pronounced)

    When I see a list, how do I know what is an acronym and what is an initialism to pronounce it correctly?

    Thanks!

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Acronyms & Initialisms

    You don't know. You can reasonably guess that CBC, NBC, IBM, etc. are not acronyms, but initialisms.
    Many people won't/can't make a distinction and call them all acronyms. A native speaker who doesn't know the term has to look it up, or ask someone.
    Last edited by Raymott; 07-Mar-2015 at 10:55. Reason: typo

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Acronyms & Initialisms

    No, you don't know, but if it looks like a word it's usually an acronym. e.g. Scuba, radar, sonar, laser, and of course, tardis.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Acronyms & Initialisms

    "Scuba", "radar", "sonar", and "laser" have moved beyond acronyms. The are no longer capitalized. They have become real words.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Acronyms & Initialisms

    TARDIS should still be capitalised. (Yes, resident Doctor Who geek is here!)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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