abbreviation OR acronym?
Dr - Co. - Ltd - c.o.d - NASA - laser - let's - DVD - radar - a.s.a.p. - etc. - FAQ - HTML - scuba - BBC - DVD - abbrv. - Aids - FBA - NSA - phone - DTRT - telly - Prof. - UK - approx. - don't - PTO
People often ask: "What's the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym?"
To answer this question, we need to understand that an acronym is just one type of abbreviation.
An abbreviation is a short form of a word or phrase. All of the short forms that you see above ↑ are abbreviations.
The four main types of abbreviation are:
A shortening is an abbreviation where the end of the word has been cut off, for example:
A contraction is an abbreviation where the middle of the word or words has been cut out, for example:
An initialism is an abbreviation made from the initial (first) letters of a group of words. We say the initialism as separate letters, for example:
|BA||Bachelor of Arts|
|BBC||British Broadcasting Corporation|
|DVD||digital versatile disc|
|VIP||very important person|
Listen to how the initialisms are pronounced, letter by letter:
An acronym is an abbreviation made from the initial (first) letters of a group of words. We say the acronym as a word, not as separate letters, for example:
|Aids||acquired immune deficiency syndrome|
|NASA||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|UNESCO||United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization|
|radar||radio detection and ranging|
|scuba||self-contained underwater breathing apparatus|
Listen to how the acronyms are pronounced, as actual words: