An abbreviation and an acronym are both shortened versions of something else. Both can often be represented as a series of letters. Many people are unable to tell the difference between an abbreviation and an acronym.
There is a great deal of overlap between abbreviations and acronyms. Every acronym is an abbreviation because the acronym is a shortened form of a word or phrase. However, not every abbreviation is an acronym, since some abbreviations - those made from words - are not new words formed from the first few letters of a series of words.
An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase, as N.Y. for New York, Mr. for Mister, lb for pound or ctn for carton.
There are millions of common abbreviations used every day.
Shortening the word "Avenue" to "Ave." is an abbreviation, because it is the shortened version of the word. However, it is not an acronym since the word AVE is not a new word comprised of the first few letters of a phrase.
An acronym, technically, must spell out another word. However, this rule isn't always rigidly enforced:
Like abbreviations, acronyms are used daily, and most people can interpret the meaning of common acroynms without much thought. For example:
Abbreviations and acronyms are shortened versions of words and phrases to speed up our communication. Be sure to use them correctly - since, a misuse can lead to a big miscommunication.
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