Speed dating acronyms
Acronyms are often taught as mnemonic devices, for example in physics the colors of the visible spectrum are said to be "ROY G.BIV" ("red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet"). They are also used as mental checklists, for example in aviation: "GUMPS", which is "gas-undercarriage-mixture-propeller-seatbelts".Linguist David Wilton in Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends claims that "forming words from acronyms is a distinctly twentieth- (and now twenty-first-) century phenomenon. In formal writing for a broad audience, the expansion is typically given at the first occurrence of the acronym within a given text, for the benefit of those readers who do not know what it stands for.There is only one known pre-twentieth-century [English] word with an acronymic origin and it was in vogue for only a short time in 1886. The capitalization of the original term is independent of it being acronymized, being lowercase for a common noun such as frequently asked questions (FAQ) but uppercase for a proper noun such as the United Nations (UN) (as explained at Case Casing of expansions).
For example, "cop" is commonly cited as being derived, it is presumed, from "constable on patrol", With some of these specious expansions, the "belief" that the etymology is acronymic has clearly been tongue-in-cheek among many citers, as with "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden" for "golf", although many other (more credulous) people have uncritically taken it for fact. In the case of most acronyms, each letter is an abbreviation of a separate word and, in theory, should get its own termination mark.
For example, the terms "URL" and "IRA" can be pronounced as individual letters: Acronymy, like retronymy, is a linguistic process that has existed throughout history but for which there was little to no naming, conscious attention, or systematic analysis until relatively recent times. Some examples of acronyms in this class are: Acronyms are used most often to abbreviate names of organizations and long or frequently referenced terms.
Like retronymy, it became much more common in the 20th century than it had formerly been. The armed forces and government agencies frequently employ acronyms; some well-known examples from the United States are among the "alphabet agencies" (also jokingly referred to as "alphabet soup") created by Franklin D.
Attestations for Akronym in German are known from 1921, and for acronym in English from 1940. believe that acronyms can be differentiated from other abbreviations in being pronounceable as words.
Dictionaries, however, do not make this distinction because writers in general do not. Initialism, an older word than acronym, seems to be too little known to the general public to serve as the customary term standing in contrast with acronym in a narrow sense." About the use of acronym to only mean those pronounced as words, Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd ed.) states: "The limitations of the term being not widely known to the general public, acronym is also often applied to abbreviations that are familiar but are not pronounceable as words. Such terms are also called initialisms." A clearer distinction has also been drawn by Pyles & Algeo (1970), who divided acronyms as a general category into word acronyms pronounced as words, and initialisms sounded out as letters.
In addition, the online medium offers yet more aids, such as tooltips, hyperlinks, and rapid search via search engine technology. An acronym may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship.