Sep 26, 2014

Acronyms and Initialisms

Although many believe both are acronyms, there is a difference. An acronym is a pronounceable word that is formed using the first letters of the words in a phrase (sometimes, other parts of the words are also used). Some common acronyms include NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration), scuba (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), and laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get  RAM - Random Access Memory  NAFTA - North American Free Trade Agreement WASP - White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

An initialism is formed using the first letters of the words in a phrase -- it is pronounced like a series of letters, not like a word. Some common initialisms include UFO )Unidentified Flying Object) and LOL (Laugh Out Loud).  IMHO - In My Humble Opinion.

ROTC - Reserve Officers Training Corps is used both as an acronym and initialism.