Peter Flynn (
11 Aug 1997 10:56:08 +0100

Date: 11 Aug 1997 10:56:08 +0100
From: Peter Flynn <>
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: "ACRONYM"?

> Is there any reason why the HTML 4.0 draft refers to
> initialisms as "acronyms" and even names an element this way?
> According to all dictionaries and encyclopedias that I have
> checked, an acronym is a combination of other words' first
> letters to a new *word* ("radar", "laser"), something that is
> *not* "spoken by pronouncing the individual letters
> separately" - with regard to the pronunciation thus the exact
> opposite of what the draft talks about, "HTTP", "URL" and so
> on.

This is a common fallacy (that acronyms have to be pronounceable).

Grammarians and lit critters need finer distinctions, but for all
practical purposes an acronym is exactly what it says it is: a name
formed from the heads of other names. There is no requirement that
it should be pronounceable as a word.