0 Conversations

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.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 Entries


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more