acronym

 

Acronym vs Mnemonic vs Initialism vs Abbreviation

One of the questions we sometimes ponder believe it or not is whether or not the letters or words we have just used to help us remember or shorten complicated phrases are an acronym, mnemonic, initialism or an abbreviation.

One might say does it matter? Well, yes it does, especially when we are teaching.

Lets look at the basic dictionary definitions

Acronym

ac·ro·nym
/ˈakrəˌnim/
noun
An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g., ASCIINASA ).
Mnemonic
mne·mon·ic
/nəˈmänik/
noun
A device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.
adjective
Aiding or designed to aid the memory.
Initialism
in·i·tial·ism
/iˈniSHəˌlizəm/
noun
noun: initialism; plural noun: initialisms
An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g., CPU ).
Abbreviation
ab·bre·vi·a·tion
/əˌbrēvēˈāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: abbreviation; plural noun: abbreviations; noun: abbr.

The conversation on this subject is always long,

BTW YOLO LOL OMG WTF is going on.

TTFN (What is this one?)

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