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Another driver for the adoption of acronyms was modern warfare with its many highly technical terms. The rapid advance of science and technology in recent centuries seems to be an underlying force driving the usage, as new inventions and concepts with multiword names create a demand for shorter, more manageable names. "YABA-compatible" (where YABA stands for "yet another bloody acronym") is used to mean that a term's acronym can be pronounced but is not an offensive word, e.g., "When choosing a new name, be sure it is 'YABA-compatible'." Acronym use has been further popularized by text messaging on mobile phones with Short Message Systems (SMS).While there is no recorded use of military acronyms in documents dating from the American Civil War (acronyms such as ANV for "Army of Northern Virginia" post-date the war itself), they had become somewhat common in World War I and were very much a part even of the vernacular language of the soldiers during World War II, who themselves were referred to as G. The widespread, frequent use of acronyms across the whole range of registers is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon in most languages, becoming increasingly evident since the mid-20th century. To fit messages into the 160-character SMS limit, acronyms such as "GF" (girlfriend), "LOL" (laughing out loud), and "DL" (download or down low) have become popular.In English, abbreviations have traditionally been written with a full stop/period/point in place of the deleted part to show the ellipsis of letters – although the colon and apostrophe have also had this role – and with a space after full stops (e.g. Such punctuation is diminishing with the belief that the presence of all-capital letters is sufficient to indicate that the word is an abbreviation.Some influential style guides, such as that of the BBC, no longer require punctuation to show ellipsis; some even proscribe it.Linguist David Wilton in Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends claims that "forming words from acronyms is a distinctly twentieth- (and now twenty-first-) century phenomenon. The capitalization of the original term is independent of it being acronymized, being lowercase for a common noun such as frequently asked questions (FAQ) but uppercase for a proper noun such as the United Nations (UN) (as explained at Case Casing of expansions).There is only one known pre-twentieth-century [English] word with an acronymic origin and it was in vogue for only a short time in 1886. In addition to expansion at first use, some publications also have a key listing all acronyms used therein and what their expansions are. The first is that if they are not reading the entire publication sequentially (which is a common mode of reading), then they may encounter an acronym without having seen its expansion.Like retronymy, it became much more common in the 20th century than it had formerly been. Some examples of acronyms in this class are: Acronyms are used most often to abbreviate names of organizations and long or frequently referenced terms.Ancient examples of acronymy (regardless of whether there was metalanguage at the time to describe it) include the following: During the mid- to late-19th century, an acronym-disseminating trend spread through the American and European business communities: abbreviating corporation names in places where space was limited for writing—such as on the sides of railroad cars (e.g., Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad → RF&P); on the sides of barrels and crates; and on ticker tape and in the small-print newspaper stock listings that got their data from it (e.g., American Telephone and Telegraph Company → AT&T). The armed forces and government agencies frequently employ acronyms; some well-known examples from the United States are among the "alphabet agencies" (also jokingly referred to as "alphabet soup") created by Franklin D.

In English, acronyms pronounced as words may be a 20th-century phenomenon. In formal writing for a broad audience, the expansion is typically given at the first occurrence of the acronym within a given text, for the benefit of those readers who do not know what it stands for.

Expansion at first use and the abbreviation-key feature are aids to the reader that originated in the print era, and they are equally useful in print and online.

In addition, the online medium offers yet more aids, such as tooltips, hyperlinks, and rapid search via search engine technology. An acronym may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship.

This has become such a problem that it is even evaluated at the level of medical academies such as the American Academy of Dermatology.

Acronyms are often taught as mnemonic devices, for example in physics the colors of the visible spectrum are ROY G. They are also used as mental checklists, for example in aviation: GUMPS, which is Gas-Undercarriage-Mixture-Propeller-Seatbelts.




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