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On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 7:25 AM, Philippe Lhoste <> wrote:
> An abbreviation is just a bunch of capital letters (the initial letter of
> each word) with no obvious pronunciation. Like HTML, XML, UTF, PNG and
> similar. Sometime, there could be a pronunciation, but habits make them
> spelled out: USA, ONU, etc.

This is called "initialism" in English, with "abbreviation" being used
as the more general category containing acronyms, initialisms, and
other shortenings (like "diff" for "difference" or "Nabisco" for
"National Biscuit Company").

The general distinction between initialism and acronym is preserved
here, with the same typographic conventions historically, although the
common vernacular doesn't use "initialism" and refers to both as

/s/ Adam