Acronyms

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Reading through various articles I have come across the misuse of the word acronym. Being a pedantic sort of person, I have to correct this little bit of misunderstanding. Sorry, its just the way I am.

From the OED:

acronym n. word formed from the initial letters of other words (e.g. laser, Nato). [Greek akron end, onoma name]

In the example the initial NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) is nearly always used as a word in its own right as in Nato, not Na -Ae -Tee - Oh.

In the world of computers in which TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) abound, which itself is not an acronym, ROM (Read Only Memory) and RAM (Random Access Memory) are. CPU (Central Processing Unit) is not an acronym, it is just a set of initials.

See article A700912 for a full and comprehensive discussion on acronyms.


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