Initialisms and acronyms


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Thread: Initialisms and acronyms

  1. #1

    Initialisms and acronyms

    I'm curious how you guys handle these and differentiate between ones that are spelled out (such as FBI or LAPD), pronounced as words (NATO), or a combination of the two (USSOCOM or JSOC). Is such differentiation something I need to worry about or is it something the brain kind of works out on its own?

  2. #2
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    Realizing that the story might be read anywhere on Earth, I leave the common ones alone, such as the FBI, SNAFU, or FUBAR. The long acronyms are best spelled out on first use, such as in: United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
    Last edited by hvysmker; May 13th, 2020 at 09:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Is an acronym one word or is it the number of words designated by the acronym? For example, is FBI one word or three or four?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin View Post
    Is an acronym one word or is it the number of words designated by the acronym? For example, is FBI one word or three or four?
    FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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    Member hugodrax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin View Post
    Is an acronym one word or is it the number of words designated by the acronym? For example, is FBI one word or three or four?
    An acronym is one word derived from the first letter of each word in a phrase, but it's gotta be a pronounceable word - SCUBA, for instance - rather than initials, like the aforementioned FBI. Hope that helps.

    PS - I suspect many acronyms will end up written lower case, too. AFAIC, they shouldn't be.

  6. #6
    If you expect your readers to understand / interpret your acronyms, use them, otherwise write them out.

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