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Guest Ink Think

Abbreviation question

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Guest Ink Think

When something is known more by its acronym than its full name, hwo do you refer to it in the body of a paragraph?

 

For example, let's say I'm talking about VANA. Technically, I would be talking about "the VANA" (for "the Virtual Assistant Networking Associaton") but that just looks/sounds wrong, even though I'm pretty sure it is technically correct. A statement like:

 

"VANA is a great place to connect with other VAs."

 

looks silly when written as "The VANA is a great place to coonect with other VAs."

 

Would you go with the technically correct version, which will likely look awkward to readers, or the colloquial version without the "the"?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Ink Think

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I think that the best example of this would be the televsion networks. You don't say "The NBC" you just say NBC.

I think the only time, I can think of, when using the "the" is when refering to countries "The USA" , "The UK"

 

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I would go without using 'the' since it would sound awkward to most people.

Angela

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Great question, Dy!

 

Darrell's and Angela's advice was right on! I did a little digging in The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition), and section 15.9 says that acronyms (e.g., VANA or NATO) are read as words and are rarely preceded by a, an, or the, except when used as adjectives. Initialisms (e.g., FBI or HMO) are pronounced one letter at a time and are often preceded by articles such as a, an, or the.

 

Hope this helps! :)

 

Angela

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