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Re: 'acronym' semantics

From: Mikko Rantalainen <mira@cc.jyu.fi>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 02:57:06 +0300
Message-ID: <3E9604D2.4010809@cc.jyu.fi>
To: www-html@w3.org

Herr Christian Wolfgang Hujer / 2003-04-11 02:36:
> Am Freitag, 11. April 2003 01:23 schrieb Etan Wexler:
> 
>> I do not understand the relevance of being the name of a language.
>>  The matter is settled simply: do we pronounce "XML" like "eks em 
>> ell" or like "ksimmill"?
> 
> being spoken or spelled-out is not the difference between an acronym
>  and an abbreviation. I myself fell on that. But acronym just means 
> short name, so it is a shortened name for something, no matter how 
> you spell or pronounce it.

According to dict.org and dictionary.com "acronym" is roughly a
combination of letters and "abbreviation" is a more general concept.

acronym
n : a word formed from the initial letters of a multi-word name

n. A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for
    Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of
    a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.


abbreviation
n
1: a shortened form of a word or phrase
2: shortening something by omitting parts of it

1. The act or product of shortening.
2. A shortened form of a word or phrase used chiefly in writing to
    represent the complete form, such as Mass. for Massachusetts or
    USMC for United States Marine Corps.


According to the description given by those dictionaries I'd say that
every acronym is also an abbreviation but the other way around isn't true.

I guess it depends on who gets to decide how those words are defined...

-- 
Mikko
Received on Thursday, 10 April 2003 19:56:32 GMT

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