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An acronym is a word that is formed by using the first parts of the words in a phrase.
Acronyms can be simple abbreviations in which the first letter of each word in a name or phrase is used to make the acronym. There are many acronyms with which we are all familiar. The acronym “NFL” for example, stands for National Football League. The CDC is the Centers for Disease Control (though its full name includes “and Prevention,” which is left out of the acronym).
Acronyms can also use more than just the first letter of the word in a phrase. For example, the acronym “sonar” comes from the phrase “Sound Navigation and Ranging.” It uses the “so” in “sound” rather than just the “s” so as to make a more pronounceable word.
Acronyms are a series of letters (that may or may not spell out a real word) for which every letter represents a word. Together, all the words together have some sort of common characteristic. Acronyms are often used a study tools for remembering the order of things (in accordance with the order of letters that spell out the acronym) or just a list of characteristics. An example of the former is PEMDAS, used in math to represent the order of operations - Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction. An example of the latter is commonly taught at the AP English level - DIDLS, for diction, images, details, language, and sentence structure.
The exact definition from Dictionary.com of "acronym" is as follows:
- a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words and pronounced as a separate word
- a set of initials representing a name, organization, or the like, with each letter pronounced separately; an initialism.
Essentially, it is where the first letter from each word in a set of words are formed together to create the acronym. For example, in sports, a majority of the organizations are abbreviated into acronyms. The NFL is the National Football League (and within that is the AFC, the American Football Conference, and the NFC, the National Football Conference). The NHL is the National Hockey League, the NBA is the National Basketball Association, the MLB is the Major League Baseball, and so on.
Hope this helps!
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