One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Acronyms are words formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as they are spelled, not as separate letters. Examples include:
|Aids||acquired immune deficiency syndrome|
|NATO||North Atlantic Treaty Organization|
|UNESCO||United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization|
|SIM (card)||subscriber identification module|
- Most acronyms can be written as capital letters or with only an initial capital letter.
- Some acronyms are so established that they are now ‘normal’ words, generally used without conscious awareness of their original full form. These words should be written in lower-case letters. Examples include:
|laser||light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation|
|radar||radio detection and ranging|
|quango||quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization|
|scuba||self-contained underwater breathing apparatus|
Back to abbreviations.
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