grammar in connection with acronyms

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Anonymous

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For our organization, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, we use the acronym MAC. When writing reports, memos, etc. do we say....

the departments within the MAC OR
the department within MAC?

MAC has oversight responsibilities OR
The MAC has oversight responsibilities?
 

RonBee

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I would use MAC without the definite article ("the"). Similarly, we don't use "the" with NATO although we do with the spelled out version of that name.

:)
 

spenser

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RonBee said:
I would use MAC without the definite article ("the"). Similarly, we don't use "the" with NATO although we do with the spelled out version of that name.
:)

What I have learnt and been told about the usage of the definite article is, it should come before initials, which are spelt out inidividually, letter by letter, and it should not, however, be used before an acronym that is pronounced as a word.

For instance, in the given example, if MAC is said letter letter by letter, then, "the" should come before it. On the other hand, if it is pronounced as a word, then, the definite article is omitted. We say "the USA" but "NATO" (without the "the").

Hence, it all depends on how the acronyms or initials are used.
 
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