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Stop! Grammar Time!

Because these things matter, if only to keep the barbarians beyond the gates for a little while longer:

An abbreviation is a shortened word or phrase. Like Wash. instead of Washington.

An initialism is an abbreviation whose letters are individually pronounced. FBI, for example.

An acronym is an an abbreviation that forms a word: YOLO, AWOL, GIF. (Sometimes, they become actual words – like laser, from Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.)

Look at it this way: Both initialisms and acronyms are types of abbreviations. It’s just that one creates a word and the other doesn’t.



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