Main Difference – Acronym vs Abbreviation
Abbreviation refers to any shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase. Abbreviations may consist of initialisms, acronyms, contractions as well as some other shortened word forms. An acronym is a type of abbreviation where a new word is formed from the first letters of a series of words. All acronyms are abbreviations, but not every abbreviation is an acronym. This is the main difference between acronym and abbreviation. We’ll explore more differences between acronyms and abbreviations in this article.
What is an Acronym
An acronym is made from the first letters of a series of words. Acronym is often treated as a separate word. The most significant feature of an acronym is that it can be pronounced as if it a separate word. Acronyms contain both vowels and consonants since vowels facilitate the pronunciation of the word.
For example, we pronounce AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome) as a single word, not as separate letters. (/eɪdz/) Acronyms are usually written in capital letters. However, some acronyms have been in the usage for so long that they are accepted as ordinary words. Words like (scuba – self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) and laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) are examples of such instances.
Some other examples of acronyms include,
NAT – North Atlantic Treaty Organization
RAM – Random Access Memory
FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football))
OPEC -Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
LOL – Laugh out loud
UNICEF – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
RIP – Rest in peace
SIM – Subscriber identification module
In addition, not all acronyms are formed by the initial letters; some acronyms contain non-initial letters as well. For example, the word radar is the shortened form of radio detection and ranging.
What is an Abbreviation
Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. An abbreviation consists of a group of letters taken from the original word or phrase itself. A word can be abbreviated by using a lot of techniques. Acronym, initialism, and contractions are some of these methods.
An acronym is made out of the first letters of a series of words. It is pronounced as a separate word.
Ex: FIFA, UNESCO
An initialism is also made out of the first letters of a series of words. The letters are pronounced separately.
Ex: FBI, KFC, HSBC
A contraction is a shortened form of a word created by omitting certain sounds and letters.
Ex: Won’t, Isn’t, I’ve
In addition, abbreviations also include shortened forms like Mr., Dr., Rev., Prof., St., etc.
Difference Between Acronym and Abbreviation
Acronym is a type of abbreviation where a new word is formed from the first letters of a series of words.
Abbreviation refers to any shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase.
Acronym is pronounced as a separate word.
Some abbreviations are not pronounced as new words.
All acronyms are abbreviations.
But not every abbreviation is an acronym.
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