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Author Topic: Acronyms  (Read 1165 times) Average Rating: 0
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mike
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« on: March 26, 2011, 07:34:17 AM »

Does the English language has a specific rule for plural acronyms? For example in Polish the acronym for singular 'saint' (like in 'Saint Nicholas' - 'St. Nicholas') is 'św.' ('św. Mikołaj') but the acronym for pluran 'saint' (like in 'Saint Apostles') would be 'św. św' (doubled) ('św. św. Apostołowie')
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 08:05:46 AM »

"St." is an abbreviation, but not really an acronym. For that, we say "Sts." For acronyms, like "IED" (Improvised Explosive Device) we use an apostrophe to pluralize: IED's.
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 08:11:26 AM »

"St." is an abbreviation, but not really an acronym. For that, we say "Sts."

Thank you. That's what I meant.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 08:18:15 AM »

One more question: Do all English abbreviations end with a dot? There are some exceptions in Polish.
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 02:24:44 AM »

"St." is an abbreviation, but not really an acronym. For that, we say "Sts." For acronyms, like "IED" (Improvised Explosive Device) we use an apostrophe to pluralize: IED's.

Actually IED is not an acronym, it is an initialism. Acronyms are often initialisms which become "words": you don't just say the letters:

NASA
Scuba
Laser
Fubar
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 02:38:17 AM »

One more question: Do all English abbreviations end with a dot? There are some exceptions in Polish.

You are getting into fine stylistic territory. Some abbreviations have lost the sense of be an abbreviation. Some loan words which are abbreviations are not understood as such in English.

Units of measure for example are rarely noted in their abbreviated form with a period.

And technically acronyms and initialisms can be considered abbreviations, so there is that large class of with do not use periods. Sometimes folks use periods with some acronyms and initialisms and sometimes not.

Names of our States when abbreviated do not usually take periods.

Academic titles can go either way.

If you find yourself, really trying to get "academic / editorial" English stylistics down, you would do well to pick up a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style.

There other exceptions, just pointing out some. But usually a period is appropriate or in uncommonly used, not technically incorrect.
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 02:46:58 AM »

"St." is an abbreviation, but not really an acronym. For that, we say "Sts." For acronyms, like "IED" (Improvised Explosive Device) we use an apostrophe to pluralize: IED's.

This rule for pluralization is not standard. If the acronym or initialism does contain internal punctuation, then an "apostrophe s" is used: I.E.D's. If there is no internal punctuation then a lower case "s" is used: IEDs
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 07:05:52 AM »

"Saints"s also abbreviated Ss.
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