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Larry Trask, American author of The Penguin Guide to Punctuation, states categorically that, in British English, "this tiresome and unnecessary practice is now obsolete".Nevertheless, some influential style guides, many of them American, still require periods in certain instances. The logic of this style is that the pronunciation is reflected graphically by the punctuation scheme.is available.) The second reason for the key feature is its pedagogical value in educational works such as textbooks.It gives students a way to review the meanings of the acronyms introduced in a chapter after they have done the line-by-line reading, and also a way to quiz themselves on the meanings (by covering up the expansion column and recalling the expansions from memory, then checking their answers by uncovering.) In addition, this feature enables readers possessing knowledge of the abbreviations not to have to encounter expansions (redundant to such readers).
Acronyms are a type of word formation process, and they are viewed as a subtype of blending.The general reason for this is convenience and succinctness for specialists, although it has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an acronym that already existed.The medical literature has been struggling to control the proliferation of acronyms as their use has evolved from aiding communication to hindering it.Such etymologies persist in popular culture but have no factual basis in historical linguistics, and are examples of language-related urban legends.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.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. 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).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. In addition to expansion at first use, some publications also have a key listing all acronyms used therein and what their expansions are. The first is that if they are not reading the entire publication sequentially (which is a common mode of reading), then they may encounter an acronym without having seen its expansion.Whereas an abbreviation may be any type of shortened form, such as words with the middle omitted (for example, Rd for road or Dr for Doctor), an acronym is a word formed from the first letter or first few letters of each word in a phrase (such as sonar, created from "A number of commentators ...believe that acronyms can be differentiated from other abbreviations in being pronounceable as words.An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components in a phrase or a word, usually individual letters (as in NATO or laser) and sometimes syllables (as in Benelux).There are no universal standards of the multiple names for such abbreviations and of their orthographic styling.