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Author Topic: ACRONYMS on LSD  (Read 16018 times)

Mr Shears

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2006, 11:39:24 PM »
ac·ro·nym    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (kr-nm)
n.
A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as WAC for Women's Army Corps, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.


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[acr(o)- + -onym.]
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acro·nymic or a·crony·mous (-krn-ms) adj.

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Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


imo/imho: in my opinion, in my honest opinion
hth: hope that helps
js/jsia: just sharing/just sharing is all (i think)
rl/irl: real life/in real life
t14: top 14 (can also do t2, t3, t4 for each tier)
HYS: Harvard/Yale/Stanford
ttt: third tier toilet

These aren't acronyms?

Nope, none of those are acronyms.  Those are abbreviations, where words are shortened to represent the full word.  CIA or WWW are good examples.  It's not a new word, it's an initialization.  Acronyms are new words created out of phrases for which they stand. NATO, RADAR, Benelux, those are acronyms.  Usually the rule of thumb is that if you pronounce it as a word (it's not N-A-T-O) then it's an acronym, if you spell out the letters (it's not 'see-yah', it's C-I-A) then it's an abbrevation.  Of course, there's some ambiguity, like ASAP (which is ambiguous) or WiFi (which actually isn't short for anything, or is, depending on who's talking).



So WAC is a word?  CIA is a word?  ASAP is a word?  Nowhere in the dictionary definition does it say they have to make a new word.  Your own definition precludes your argument from making any sense.  "Acronyms are...created out of phrases for which they stand."  All of the abovementioned phrases were shortened by taking the initial letter of all the words, which is exactly what the dictionary definition states.

AH

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2006, 11:41:14 PM »
M-W.com is a reputable source.  Merriam Webster is a well-respected dictionary.

I would explain the difference more completely (yay being an English major is good for something), but the sleeping pills are kicking in.

sidenote: i like how you pick one def. from the oed out of how many? ;) and don't give us the year of usage.
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Mr Shears

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2006, 11:44:35 PM »
What is OED?  Every dictionary I consulted (M-E, American Heritage) completely lacked the part about it having to be a word.

AH

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2006, 11:49:10 PM »
Oxford English Dictionary.  The most authoritative dicitionary in the English language and a way snooty English majors can reference something and sound cool (nothing against you hooray, just a general statement from my experience with the text).  It is online as well, as I pointed out, the reference was good, but not entirely compelte.
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I <3 AH.
the official gettin' busy poster of the OPC!
Official Realistic Numbers Holder of the Revolution
Quote from: Groundhog
honorary fellow LSD rodent.
www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=arhodg

Mr Shears

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2006, 11:52:00 PM »
Ah, okay.  Well, I still wouldn't consider inter alia, FWIW an abbreviation.

rhombot

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2006, 11:52:25 PM »
linguist in da house.

NATO and radar are acronyms.

UN and CIA, where the names of the letters are pronounced, are alphabetisms.

fax (for facsimile) and tar (for avatar) are clippings or shortenings.

motel (for motorist hotel) is a blend.

i don't know what abbreviations are. the term is probably reserved for orthographic (i.e. written) usage, meaning linguists usually won't talk about them.

i certainly don't know what a word is. it may be the most elusive concept in the field.

all of this is culled from my memory of linguistics 1000, which i took 12 years ago. some memory loss or confusion may have occured in storage. linguist not responsible for accuracy of claims.
case '09

Mr Shears

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2006, 11:53:49 PM »
Thanks for clarifying.

AH

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2006, 11:54:04 PM »
rhombot is awesome!

yay linguists.

Oxford English Dictionary. The most authoritative dicitionary in the English language and a way snooty English majors can reference something and sound cool (nothing against you hooray, just a general statement from my experience with the text). It is online as well, as I pointed out, the reference was good, but not entirely compelte.

Yeah, it was sloppy to choose the highlighted definition instead of giving them all. I've never really nitpicked online before, but this issue just seems pretty straightforward to me. Acronyms are super cool, we don't have enough of them. Abbreviations are a dime a dozen, conflating the two takes away one of the few cool things about our native tongue.

that post makes you awesome in my book, youmust have a strong english background as well
Quote from: Stanley James Watson III
I <3 AH.
the official gettin' busy poster of the OPC!
Official Realistic Numbers Holder of the Revolution
Quote from: Groundhog
honorary fellow LSD rodent.
www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=arhodg

Mr Shears

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2006, 11:55:24 PM »
I fancy myself well versed in the English language, but if I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

Mr Shears

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Re: ACRONYMS on LSD
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2006, 11:56:32 PM »
The definitions for abbreviations and acronyms are so close (and apparently varied) that one could probably argue either way for some of the aforementioned shortenings.

JMHO  ;)