Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/06/28

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Subject: RE: [Leica] TLA -- three-letter-abbreviation: WOT
From: Paul Chefurka <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 04:45:20 -0700

In my work we use "acronyms" all the time, and they're almost never pronouncable on their own.  TSB, PLI, API, DDG, ETC.  While Mirriam-Webster online agrees that an acronym is a word, usage no longer respects this restriction.

My favourite is ETLA.  This stands for Extended Three-Letter Acronym...


- -----Original Message-----
From: Malcolm McCullough []
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2001 6:34 AM
Subject: [Leica] TLA -- three-letter-abbreviation: WOT

>TLA -- three-letter-acronym

Isn't it a 'three-letter-abbreviation'?
An acronym is an abbreviation that can be pronounced as a word, like SCSI is 
scuzzy (as in 'my old Sprintscan 4000 is getting really scuzzy, I must get a 
Nikon 8000ED now'). TLA itself is not an acronym, it is an abvreviation.
I know that this sounds very picky, and I do have my tongue in my cheek, but 
'acronym' has a particular meaning and if 'acronym' loses that meaning and 
just becomes another word for abbreviation we should then have to invent 
another word for an abbreviation that is pronounced as a word. We would you 
know. Trust me on this.

My favourite acronym, in the official local government language of 'Bolleaux 
Complets', was / is POSSLQ, pronounced posslekew. 'Person of the opposite 
sex sharing living quarters'.

Kind Regards
Mr V Picky
(WOT? way off topic)