American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An abbreviation consisting of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase (for example, IRS for Internal Revenue Service), syllables or components of a word (TNT for trinitrotoluene), or a combination of words and syllables (ESP for extrasensory perception) and pronounced by spelling out the letters one by one rather than as a solid word.
- n. A term formed from the initial letter or letters of several words or parts of words, but which is itself pronounced letter by letter.
- initial + -ism (Wiktionary)
“The plural of an initialism is the initialism plus s.”
“I recall a LONG time ago, when one of ALA's publication I think College & Research Libraries, but that could be wrong was redesigning its cover, they spent considerable time assuring that the new "initialism" graphic would not be sufficiently prominent to trigger a "title change.”
“initialism," the difference being it is an abbreviation using only first letters of words; an acronym being a new word created by the first letters, syllables or even arbitrary parts of the original words.”
“It has become a sorrowful S.O.P. nowadays to call any initialism an acronym.”
“A few weeks ago, a story flashed across my computer screen about bisphenol A, the plastic additive better known by its initialism BPA.”
“So an initialism becomes a new entity, a noun in its own right, demanding - s at the end of its plural like most of its neighbours have.”
“Strictly speaking, DVD is not an acronym but an initialism (though the distinction is not always made).”
“AZ, an initialism for Alkmaar Zaanstreek, is a football club from Alkmaar, the Netherlands.”
“The essence of Smashing Pumpkins has returned in the form of Silversun Pickups, a Los Angeles outfit that seems to prefer the initialism "SSPU" for embarrassingly obvious reasons.”
“Is the acronym/initialism thing listed in your King of Anglophonia series?”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘initialism’.
Classes of words and types of word formation
My Favorite Words
Phrases I am encountering in grad work that make me want to hit my head against a wall
cartographies of ..., power-accruing ac..., narratee, ecofeminism, beyond mere consc..., dichotomistic, postmethod condition, conpenetration, emotionalist, uncoupling, positionality sta..., age-mates and 23 more...
Words I like. No particular reason why.
Long, complicated, specialist, etymologically diverse and such.
"Acronyms", "Initialisms", "Alphabetisms","Abbreviations" These are terms that are *supposed* to help us make sense of the confusing world of shortened names, but fail.
Most people us...
Looking for tweets for initialism.