FAQ (was Re: TIPS)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jul 7 18:47:45 UTC 2006

On 7/7/06, Mark A. Mandel <mamandel at ldc.upenn.edu> wrote:
> Do we have a term for expressions like this? That is, abbreviations formed
> from initial letters and observed in the wild with both types of
> pronunciation: acronymic and initialistic. The only other one I know of
> offhand is ASAP, which I have heard pronounced /'ey,saep/ as well as
> /'ey'es'ey'piy/.

MWCD11 informs us that "AWOL" can be pronounced as two syllables or
six syllables. (The latter pronunciation is a syllable longer than the
unabbreviated form -- cf. Geoff Pullum's comments about "WWI" on Talk
of the Nation last week.)

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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