Re: <acronym>

Walter Ian Kaye (
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 01:54:11 -0700

Message-Id: <v03102834b005ff52cae5@[]>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SOL.3.93.970731091852.2534B-100000@lamin-0>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 01:54:11 -0700
From: Walter Ian Kaye <>
Subject: Re: <acronym>

At 9:23a +0100 07/31/97, Brian Kelly wrote:
 > > Well, In the HTML4.0 draft I was surprised to see the way that the term
 > > "acronym" was being interpreted.
 > Re. the discussion on acronyms and initialisms, what is VRML (Virtual
 > Reality Markup Language)?  The VRML FAQ (F-AY-QUEUE or Fack?) states that
 > this should be pronounced "vermel".  However most people I know in the UK
 > treat it like HTML and spell out the initials. I don't know anyone who
 > pronounces HTML as "hit-mell", although URL is pronounced YOU-ARE-ELL
 > and "earl" (the latter seems to be favoured by many Scots I know).

Oh boy... there are lots of similar examples. In electronics, there are the
Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs. I have always pronounced it ELL-ee-DEE, but
I know someone who pronounces it "led". In banking, there is the IRA account
which I refuse to pronounce like a person's name! I say i-ar-ay instead,
just like that naughty Irish group.

This all illustrates the fact that the decision to pronounce or not is quite
separate from the acronym itself. Thus, whether [any] people pronounce an
acronym or not should not affect the actual definition of an acronym. IMO.

  Walter Ian Kaye <boo_at_best*com>    Programmer - Excel, AppleScript,
          Mountain View, CA                         ProTERM, FoxPro, HTML     Musician - Guitarist, Songwriter