acronym, initials, and abbreviation

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bmo

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Acronym - WMD is one, representing weapons of mass destruction. VP for vice president. Correct?

Initials - JFK is John F. Kennedy. Name only?

Abbreviation - CA for california, Penn for pennsylvania. Correct?

1. Is USMC, United States Marine Corps, an acronym or abbreviation?
2. vs. for versus; e.g. for for example and i.e. for that is. What are these? The last two are Latin, but are they abbreviation? These are almost like A.M. and P.M. for morning and afernoon.


Thanks.

BMO
 

Red5

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Or ie: and eg: ;-)
 

bmo

Senior Member
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Red5 said:
Or ie: and eg: ;-)

My questions are, what is the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym? Are initials acronym or abbreviation? Is USMC an acronym, abbreviation or initials?
 
S

Susie Smith

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bmo said:
Red5 said:
Or ie: and eg: ;-)

My questions are, what is the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym? Are initials acronym or abbreviation? Is USMC an acronym, abbreviation or initials?

Three replies and nobody has answered your questions yet. :roll:
Sorry, but I'm too tired to do it tonight. I'll try to do it tomorrow if nobody beats me to it. :wink:
Good night to all. (Is there a yawning smiley?)
 
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Susie Smith

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bmo said:
Red5 said:
Or ie: and eg: ;-)

My questions are, what is the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym? Are initials acronym or abbreviation? Is USMC an acronym, abbreviation or initials?

Just found out I can't go to bed anyway. Have to wait up for somebody, so decided I might as well try to answer your questions. :)

They are very good questions indeed. I can't think straight when I'm tired, but I found this on the net. See if it helps. Will talk to you again tomorrow.

What is an ACRONYM?

According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate dictionary, an acronym is:
a word (such as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term.

For example, take the first letter of each word in North Atlantic Treaty Organization and we get the acronym NATO. (NATO could also be called an initialism, more on that later.)

Since acronyms are called words, their meanings are called definitions. The acronym NATO has the definition North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Not all acronyms form pronounceable words. SVP is an acronym that is not pronounceable, instead each letter is spoken.

Some acronyms are formed from the first few letters of a word, instead of just the first letter. For example, the acronym MILCON has the definition Military Construction. The first three letters of each word are used to form the acronym instead of just the first letter.

There is also a class of acronyms called initialisms. Initialisms are acronyms formed by the initial letters of each word. For example, IBM is an initialism for International Business Machines. All initialisms are acronyms, but not all acronyms are initialisms.

Submitted by: Robert Fogt
 
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Susie Smith

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bmo said:
Acronym - WMD is one, representing weapons of mass destruction. VP for vice president. Correct?

THAT'S CORRECT. :D

Initials - JFK is John F. Kennedy. Name only?

ALSO CORRECT. :D

Abbreviation - CA for california, Penn for pennsylvania. Correct?

CORRECT AGAIN. :D

1. Is USMC, United States Marine Corps, an acronym or abbreviation?

BOTH. :D (IT'S AN ACRONYM, BUT AN ACRONYM IS A KIND OF ABBREVIATION.) :wink:

2. vs. for versus; e.g. for for example and i.e. for that is. What are these? The last two are Latin, but are they abbreviation? These are almost like A.M. and P.M. for morning and afernoon.

ALL OF THESE ABBREVIATIONS COME FROM LATIN. :D

Thanks. YOU'RE WELCOME. :D
BMO


Acronym = A word formed from the initial letters of a name or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words
AWOL = absent without leave
WAC = Women's Army Corps
loran = long-range navigation
radar = radio detecting and ranging

All the acronyms above are pronounced as words. When the letters do not form a word that can be pronounced, the letters are pronounced individually. This is called initialism. (e. g. Y-M-C-A)

Abbreviation = A shortened form of a word or phrase used chiefly in writing to represent the complete form
Mass. = Massachusetts or
Mr. = Mister
Mrs. = Missus
masc. = masculine
Capt. = Captain
A. M. = ante meridiem (among other things)

Initials = The first letter of each word of a person's complete name considered as a unit, as in "bath towels monogrammed with her initials".
JFK = John Fitzgerald Kennedy
FDR = Franklin Delano Roosevelt
J.P. Jones = John Phillip Jones
 

bmo

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Jul 24, 2003
Thank you both, Susie Smith and Red5, it is so clear now. I can't believe it. Something that has been bothering me for such a long time is now all gone. It is probably not like winning a California Lotto (which I will find out tomorrow - $22 millions), but it is definitely a great feeling.

Tell me please, acronym is a kind of abbreviation, is initials also an abbreviation. Can I say L.A. (Los Angeles) is an abbreviation, an acronym, and an initials? JFK is not separated ny periods?

Have a great day.

bmo
 
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Susie Smith

Guest
bmo said:
Thank you both, Susie Smith and Red5, it is so clear now. I can't believe it. Something that has been bothering me for such a long time is now all gone. It is probably not like winning a California Lotto (which I will find out tomorrow - $22 millions), but it is definitely a great feeling.

Tell me please, acronym is a kind of abbreviation, is initials also an abbreviation.

Have a great day.

bmo

You are most welcome! :D

Say 22 million, eight billion, six thousand, etc. :wink:

To abbreviate is to reduce a word or phrase to a shorter form intended to represent the full form. So I don't see why initials can't be considered a form of abbreviation. :)

May I ask you a question? Why did you ask these questions about acronyms and abbreviations, etc? Curiosity? Or is it related to a lesson?
 

bmo

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Preparing lecture notes. You see, these things are a good source to pick up a few vocabulary. If you tell students what laser and radar stand for, they can pick up a few words there.

Thanks again, you have explained it very well.

BMO
 
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Susie Smith

Guest
bmo said:
Preparing lecture notes. You see, these things are a good source to pick up a few vocabulary. If you tell students what laser and radar stand for, they can pick up a few words there.

Thanks again, you have explained it very well.

BMO

I see. It is a good way to improve one's vocabulary. BTW, you can't say "a few vocabulary" because vocabulary is uncountable. You can say a few new words, though. :wink:

Once again, you're welcome. I was glad to help. :D
 

Casiopea

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bmo said:
Acronym - WMD is one, representing weapons of mass destruction. VP for vice president. Correct?

Initials - JFK is John F. Kennedy. Name only?

Abbreviation - CA for california, Penn for pennsylvania. Correct?

1. Is USMC, United States Marine Corps, an acronym or abbreviation?
2. vs. for versus; e.g. for for example and i.e. for that is. What are these? The last two are Latin, but are they abbreviation? These are almost like A.M. and P.M. for morning and afernoon.


Thanks.

BMO

In addition to the wonderful explanations provided already, when in doubt, remember:initials represent a person's name; acronyms are built on the initial letter of words, but they differ from 'initials' because they don't represent a person's name; initials are not words; abbreviations are a short form of a word or words; initials are not abbreviations. Initials are just that, initials; don't forget to look at monograms. 8)
 

bmo

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Susie Smith said:
BTW, you can't say "a few vocabulary" because vocabulary is uncountable. You can say a few new words, though. :wink:

Once again, you're welcome. I was glad to help. :D

Thanks Susie for the explanations of the words million and vocabulary. The way I am doing is a good way to increase vocabulary, right?

BMO
 

bmo

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Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Casiopea said:
In addition to the wonderful explanations provided already, when in doubt, remember:initials represent a person's name; acronyms are built on the initial letter of words, but they differ from 'initials' because they don't represent a person's name; initials are not words; abbreviations are a short form of a word or words; initials are not abbreviations. Initials are just that, initials; don't forget to look at monograms. 8)

Thanks Cas. OneLook says initial is the first letter of a word, especially a person's name. If so, is LA (Los Angeles) initials too? That would seem strange. I would be happy to settle on initials are only person's name.

UsingEnglish.com/glossary/acronym does say acronym is a kind of abbreviation.

Periods in acronym, abbreviation, and initials are also important. May I ask, are both U.S.A. and USA acceptable? How about UN, WTO, UNESCO? Need periods?

Acronyms are funny - and therefore, a good way to teach students. WTO represents World Trade Organization, but World Toilet Organization, which held its first meeting in Singapore this year, calls itself WTO too. UCI is the University of California in Irvine, but Chinese students joke it is the University of Chinese immigrants as there are so many Asians (60%) on campus.
 

Casiopea

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OneLook says initial is the first letter of a word, especially a person's name. If so, is LA (Los Angeles) initials too? That would seem strange. I would be happy to settle on initials are only person's name.

Given the three choices: acronym, abbreviation, and initials, let's do some deductive work:

Los Angeles
Acronym: LA :?: Is [la] a word? No.
Abbreviation: ls angls :?: Is that possible? No.
Initials: LA :?: Is that a person's name? No.

Conclusion: Either there must be a fourth choice out there we don't know about or LA is a kind of initial (i.e. a country's name), like USA. :D

:D

UsingEnglish.com/glossary/acronym does say acronym is a kind of abbreviation.

That's because acronyms are not a kind of abbreviation. :D

Periods in acronym, abbreviation, and initials are also important. May I ask, are both U.S.A. and USA acceptable? How about UN, WTO, UNESCO? Need periods?

Periods are not important. :D It's the reduction of the word/phrase that's important. :D
 

Tdol

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Casiopea said:
:D

UsingEnglish.com/glossary/acronym does say acronym is a kind of abbreviation.

That's because acronyms are not a kind of abbreviation. :D
:?: :lol:
 
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