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Daven Hiskey 40 comments You should know the difference between an acronym and an initialism. Both acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, but there is a key difference between the two, at least at present.
So as the English language evolves, this additional definition of acronym may stick and become widely accepted. Acronyms, of course, are abbreviations where the abbreviation is formed from letters of other words usually the first letter of each word, though not always.
The part of the definition of acronym that many people miss is that the resulting abbreviation needs to be pronounceable as a word. Initialisms are very similar to acronyms in that they are made up of letters of some name or phrase, usually the first letter of each word as is common with acronyms.
Another thing about acronyms and initialisms that often causes confusion is whether or not one should place periods after each letter in order to be grammatically correct.
The important thing is just to be consistent throughout your writing. If you liked this post, you might also like:A summary article explaining the differences between abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms. abbreviation vs. acronym vs. initialism [language, English] In writing, an abbreviation is any shortened form of a word or phrase.
initialism - . Update: I saw a question online recently where someone was wondering if 'initialism' is a "real word." While its current use (as a type of abbreviation) may be recent, the word has been around for a long time.
Here is a dated and confirmed use from the Oxford English Dictionary  (under the entry for "Initialize"). Abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms. In English, there are four main classifications of shortened words and phrases. Abbreviations. All types of shortened words and phrases are technically abbreviations, but we generally use this term to denote shortened words—for example.
The list below contains commonly used acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms used at Colorado State University. If information about an entry is incorrect or missing, request a change.
Acronym List. Is there a difference between acronyms and abbreviations? Yes. An abbreviation is any shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase.
An acronym is a specific type of abbreviation formed from the first letters of a multi-word term, name, or phrase, with those letters pronounced together as one term. Initialism arose at the end of the. Abbreviations definition, a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole, as Dr.
for Doctor, U.S. for United States, lb. for pound.