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acronym

Technically, an acronym is a word that is formed by combining some parts (usually the first letters) of some other terms. For example, modem is the acronym derived from modulator/demodulator and FORTRAN is the chosen parts of the words formula translator.

acronym

Acronym Versus Initialism

In everyday speech, the term is also used to refer to initialisms, which are combinations of letters representing a longer phrase. For example, CRT is an initialism for cathode ray tube.The difference is that an acronym is pronounced as if it were a word rather than just a series of individual letters.

Newsgroups, chat rooms, and e-mail have spawned a rich set of acronyms and initialisms for common phrases. A few of the more common ones are listed below.

Acronym/Initialism Meaning
ASAP As Soon As Possible
BTW By The Way
FWIW For What It's Worth
FYI For Your Information
IMO In My Opinion
LOL Laughing Out Loud
ROTFL Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Recommended Reading: Webopedia's page of text messaging abbreviations.

Also see related phrase recursive acronym, a type of acronym commonly used in the computer and technology industry that will reference a person, company or a product name in the acronym itself.







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