Why acronyms come under abbreviations
As some people were confused as to how acronyms formed part of
abbreviations, we decided to clarify it.
If you refer to any standard English dictionary you will know the
meaning of ‘acronym.’ Here is the definition given in the “Oxford
Advanced Learner’s Dictionary”: “a word formed from the first letters of
a group of words, e.g. UNESCO i.e. United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation.”
Chambers Dictionary of Abbreviations provides a number of acronyms
along with abbreviations. That clearly shows acronyms are an integral
part of abbreviations.
So, acronyms are abbreviations which could be pronounced as words and
this means they usually have vowels. But this is not a rule as such.
The dictionary also favours the use of simple letters (lower case)
for many abbreviations which were once written in capital letters (upper
Here are a few examples:
No firm rule can be given for the capitalization and punctuation of
abbreviations. It is advisable to follow the latest trend found in
standard dictionaries. However, when it comes to punctuations
abbreviations and contractions should generally be followed by a full
point (fullstop or period) unless the shortened form consists of upper
case initials or is a recognised acronym pronounced as a single word.
e.g.: BBC, USSR, Fiat.
In a mixture of upper and lower case too, full points are used e.g.:
Ltd., Ph.D., St.
The trend now is not to use a full point after Mr., Mrs. Ms (Miss),
Revd. (not rev) or Dr.
However, suffixes like Esq. take a point and are proceeded by a
Initials of names too take a point.