Acronyms and pronouncability

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Dec 3 13:52:30 UTC 2010

At 12/2/2010 08:12 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 5:23 PM -0500 12/2/10, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>What about the 18th century "texting" abbreviations?  Do those not
>>count as acronyms?
>Initialisms, if one makes the distinction. Is there any evidence that
>any of them were pronounced as a word, a la "SCOTUS" (or, for
>pre-English ones, "ICHTHYS", inspiring bumper stickers millennia

Aha!  Misled by the OED?  acronym: "A word formed from the initial
letters of other words."  Must a "word" be pronouncable?  I see
"initialism" does make half of the distinction: "each letter or part
being pronounced separately (contrasted with acronym n.).  Perhaps
the OED definition of "acronym" should add "the whole being pronounced".


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