March 14, 2007
Like most people I suspect, I didn’t know the difference between an acronym and an initialization until quite recently.
An acronym is a series of letters pronounced as a word. An initialization is a series of letters pronounced as individual letters.
For example, ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, is pronounced “an-see.” But AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, is pronounced “aigh-aigh-are-pee.”
Now you know.
Updated: November 2, 2016. Floyd Jasinski wrote me and explained that my selection of AARP as the initialization example was incorrect as it is pronounced as a word, sounding a bit like “harp”. He suggests that FCC, pronounced “eff-see-see” would be a better example.