Acronyms or abbreviations

I don’t like the use of the acronym BTW.

:rofl:

If it is the Dutch/Flemish acronym, me neither :crazy_face: Too much wasted money involved

Actually, BTW is not an acronym; it’s an abbreviation. NATO is an acronym. NASA is an acronym, but BTW is an abbreviation. Or in this context, it belongs to a specific class of argot or jargon. No matter – as an abbreviation, it’s kind of fun: one of a large class of easy puzzles we use to amuse ourselves while we pick our lint.

But as argot, it might be objectionable as elitist or exclusionary–an effort to put people down akin to knowing which fork to use at dinner. But we Roonophile Forum Fighters have an advantage, because even if we are lazy or untutored, we can get online to Wikipedia (deux portmanteaux) while listening to MQA (more abbreviatory argotry) to find out what our coreligionists are trying to say, and we can do it while admiring our computer organized audio collections, Just my $0.02; YMMV. And, BTW, what exactly does ‘OP’ mean? Thanks, Gene

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Shouldn’t that be “BTW, I don’t like the use of BTW”?

The Miriam-Webster definition of acronym: “a word (such as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term. also an abbreviation (such as FBI) formed from initial letters”

OP = original poster, the originator of the thread.

By definition, BTW is most definitely an acronym, as it meets all of M-W’s definition, in the exact way FBI does in their example.

While in my language BTW, BTW means VAT and are therefore taxes…

BTW, VAT…they are both acronyms.

Well, sorry to disappoint you but In Dutch or Flemish, the letters BTW are an abbreviation and NOT an acronym. Why? Well, in our language each character is pronounced individually., like in Bee Tee Double U :nerd_face:

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Being a language nazi myself, I feel compelled to weight in.

From Merriam-Webster -

I suppose the true arbitrator would be the OED, but I have neither the 20 volume set nor an internet subscription.

BTW - when I see ‘BTW’ I neither try to pronounce it as a word nor say the letters individually. I say the words that the letters stand for. As is the case, for many internet acronyms/initialisms.

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And that still qualities as an acronym in every definition I have been able to find.

In Dutch:
Een acroniem (Grieks: ἄκρον, ákron , “hoogste” of “uiterste” + ὄνυμα, ónuma , “naam” = naam uit de uiteinden ) of letterwoord is een afkorting die wordt uitgesproken als een woord. Soms wordt daarbij nog de eis gesteld dat elke letter een apart woord voorstelt, zoals in een initiaalwoord.

Translated to English:
An acronym (Greek: ἄκρον, ákron , “highest” or “utmost” + ὄνυμα, ónuma , “name” = name from the ends ) or letter word is an abbreviation that is pronounced like a word. Sometimes there is also the requirement that each letter represents a separate word, as in an initial word.

In other words: BTW is not pronounced as one word and therefore is not an acronym.

I believe I now understand BTW is not an acronym but an argot (abbreviation).

What does BTW represent to you if not by the way? You mentioned taxes. I was aware of VAT.
Thank you.

Belasting over de Toegevoegde Waarde = Value Added Tax

:nerd_face:

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IDK. IMO it is easy to derail a thread like this. Anyway that’s enough TLAs for one day.

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the differentiator i think eugene_levine was referring to is that acronyms are pronounced as a word. so, if we said BTW as ‘bitwah’… it would be more acronym-y. :smiley: afaik.

edit: you will be excited/annoyed to know that the oed online has both cases as definitions of the noun acronym:

1. A group of initial letters used as an abbreviation for a name or expression, each letter or part being pronounced separately; an initialism (such as ATM, TLS).In the O.E.D. the term initialism is used for this phenomenon. (See sense 2 for O.E.D. use of the word.)

2. A word formed from the initial letters of other words or (occasionally) from the initial parts of syllables taken from other words, the whole being pronounced as a single word (such as NATO, RADA).

they do, however, seem to point to use 2. as their accepted one… fwiw.

But, BTW is English. In English, ALL abbreviations that are made by the first letters of phrases are acronyms by definition (an acronym is a specific type of abbreviation). It does not matter if they are pronounced as a word as in NATO, or each letter pronounced separately as in FBI, or you say the words the letters stands for as in BTW. BTW is, by being an English language term and by English definition, an acronym. For French phrases, etc., you use French definitions. If it was a Dutch thing, you’d go by Dutch definitions. But, this is English (actually American English), so do not try to apply Dutch definitions to it. That is 100% WRONG!!!

All acronyms are abbreviations, just a specific kind of abbreviation.

Not all acronyms are pronounced as words. Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, acronym: “a word (such as NATO, radar, or laser) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term. also , an abbreviation (such as FBI) formed from initial letters”. Nowhere does it mention pronunciation.

ok neil. yes. but… other sources, eg. the oxford english dictionary, and others, have mentioned pronunciation as a differentiator. m-w is not the only reference to consider. that’s why all the posts on this topic, so, i’m not sure of what your point is. but thx. i’d say we fully explored this curious phenomenon to all reasonable depths. :smiley:

The OED you posted did not say it had to be pronounced as a word. In fact, it said “A group of initial letters used as an abbreviation for a name or expression, each letter or part being pronounced separately” as being part of their accepted definition. BY THAT, BTW is an acronym, especially when taken in conjunction with other English language dictionaries to form a consensual definition.