Author Topic: About abbreviations and acronyms  (Read 334 times)

SHANDAL

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About abbreviations and acronyms
« on: July 18, 2015, 04:02:51 AM »

ABBREVIATIONS play a significant role in the English language and have been around since the mid-15th century. Abbreviations emerged as important players in speech and writing only in modern times. The word ‘abbreviation’ is of Latin origin; ‘brevit’ to make brief; is its meaning and function. AM (ante meridiem; Latin, before midday); PM (post meridiem, after midday) are commonplace. CE (Common Era) has now replaced AD (anno Domini, Latin; year of our lord) and BCE (Before the Common Era) is modern usage for BC (Before Christ). Both sets of abbreviations refer to identical time periods.
 It is standard practice to use abbreviations for public institutions. MAMC (Maulana Azad Medical College), AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) are well-known abbreviations in word and in print. Usually, the first letter of each word in a compound name is capitalised. For example, WHO expands into World Health Organisation while WTC stands for World Trade Center. Abbreviations are written in upper case (with or without full stops) and are effective codes. Sometimes parts of words can form abbreviations, as in ‘co-op’ (cooperatives); B.Com (Bachelor of  Commerce) or Dr (doctor). In such instances, the first letters of the word set remain capitalised, while other words are in lower case.
 Most proper nouns lend themselves to abbreviations. This holds true for the names of countries (USA, UAE), states (HP, Himachal Pradesh; MP, Madhya Pradesh), cities (NY, New York; ND, New Delhi) and institutions (NDMC, New Delhi Municipal Corporation). People are referred to by the initial letters of their name. JFK, are the initial letters in the name of American president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Personal names can be abbreviated or ‘initialised’. ‘Initialising’ has been taken to bilingual cinematic heights in the Aamir Khan-starrer PK.
 While abbreviations constitute part of formal speech and writing practice, they also work like nicknames. This aspect of abbreviations brings us to yet another interesting development. The abbreviation explosion in the mid-20th century paved the way for the entry of the ‘acronym’. Acronyms are formed when all first letters from a set of words group together to form a name. GATT is an acronym for (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade). Usually, prepositions and conjunctions are left out of abbreviations and acronyms.
 An acronym does for a compound set of nouns what précis writing does for the essay. The precis compresses a long essay to around one-third of its original size. Acronyms perform a similar function by truncating a long list of words into portable dimensions. It is far simpler to say NATO instead of its full expanded form, i.e. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Take BITS, for instance. In expanded form, the Birla Institute of Technological Sciences is quite a mouthful.
 Abbreviated acronyms created by the media for popular film couples such as Brangelina, Abhiash, and Shira are inventive and meant to endear. The term ‘IGags’ became the acronym of choice, to describe the then premier Indira Gandhi for young teenagers bewildered by the Emergency. Possibly, acronyms need to be seen as the by-products of a complex age, running short on time and having too much to talk about.
 Acronyms also lend themselves to word games. RSVP (French; Repondez S’il Vous Plait) invitations to important functions require the invitee to confirm his\her presence at the venue. A delightful take on RSVP is this Punjabi variant: Rondey Saarey Vyaah Picho. Organising weddings is onerous; expensive and generates much behind-the-scenes grief and stress for hapless hosts, left in the dark about logistics when invitees do not respond to RSVP requests.

SHANDAL

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Re: About abbreviations and acronyms
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 04:22:50 AM »