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Acronyms vs Abbreviations - was: New tool on Accessify - Acronym Generator

From: Lauke PH <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 10:33:54 +0100
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B902B7D9@misnts6.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Ian Lloyd \(Accessify.com\)" <accessify@yahoo.co.uk>

Ian's definition on

>An abbreviation is just that - a string of words that have been
>reduced to their initial leading letters. When you read it out,
>you naturally pronounce each letter individually. 
>NSPCC pronounced "Enn Ess Pee See See" 
>RNIB pronounced "Arr Enn Eye Bee" 
>An acronym is a special kind of abbreviation. Either by luck or
>design, the initial letters make up an abbreviation that can be
>read aloud as a word in its own right: 
>NASA pronounced "Nassa" 
>GUI pronounced "Gooey" 

I'm not a scholar of semantics, but I'm not entirely sure if
this would be the right distinction to make. I've always understood
"acronym" to be anything formed from the initial letters of a 
multi-word name/sentence (so, even NSPCC & RNIB would be acronyms)
and "abbreviation" to denote anything that represents a shortened
form for a word (e.g. MCR for Manchester, Lancs for Lancashire,
etc for et cetera, and so on...including acronyms as a special
subset of abbreviations as well).

So...is the definition of - and the line between - acronym and
abbreviation blurred, or is it just me ?

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Wednesday, 23 April 2003 05:35:01 UTC

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