Talk:initialism

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By the definition here (and in other dictionaries), TNT listed as a prime example is not an initialism since the N and T are from non-initial letters.

I'm in two minds as to whether to label "initialism" as a misnomer since it is very often applied to items created from non-initial letters, or to remove or relabel words we label as initialisms which do not match this definition. — Hippietrail 21:27, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

One could argue that they are morpheme-initial letters, and could be legitimately labeled "initial" in that sense. Nohat 18:37, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

There are No Initialisms in America[edit]

I'm sorry, but the idea that the way in which an abbreviation is pronounced should determine whether it is classified with an Abbreviation or Initialism dictionary heading is just ludicrous. The words are still abbreviations, even if they demonstrate the properties of an initialism. The same holds true for abbreviations that demonstrate the properties of a palindrome or an anagram.

A second problem here is the strict criteria for an abbreviation to be classified an initialism; suggesting it be both the first-letter initials from words of a phrase, and mandating that those initials be verbalized letter for letter when saying them. Unfortunately, it only takes one language or dialect to break those rules for that word, before it defaults back to a regular old abbreviation.

Here are some examples of potential initialsms or pairs of initalisms, and how they may be pronounced differently.

SMTP, clearly pronounced S. M. T. P. Nobody has attempted otherwise. However, its sisters...
IMAP, pronounced either I. M. A. P. or /I-map/ and
POP3, almost exclusively pronounced /Pop-3/
URL, pronounced either U. R. L. or /Earl/
ROFL, is either R. O. F. L or /Rah-foll/ depending on who you ask

You may even be surprised to know that new "AOLers" are using the word nasal as a cute form of A/S/L, which was also deemed an idnitialism.

In light of all this confusion, I wish to propose all abbreviations categorized as Initialisms be re-categorized as Abbreviations, and instead given some property tag that identifies this unique sub-trait. ~ Agvulpine 08:17, 29 January 2008 (UTC)


Interesting. I have been a bit troubled by Abbreviations myself, but by the lack of proper Parts of Speech and handling of pluralization. Most are nouns, some proper, some not. Some are other parts of speech. Some are used as different parts of speech. Some nouns can have plurals, some can't. The Abbreviation/Initialism distinction provides some guidance as the how the abbreviation is pronounced, without requiring a full pronunciation section. Let's see what kind of discussion we get here. DCDuring TALK 10:27, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I, too, am troubled by the lack of parts of speech, pluralization, etc., as I've noted elsewhere. (Just adding my voice to the clamor.)—msh210 18:16, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I've long held the same view as Agvulpine, but the powers of hypercorrection or whatever you wish to call it can be strong on Wiktionary. The Category system can be used for noting that an abbreviation is also an initialism, but just Abbreviation should be the actual heading - and it need not be linked either. — hippietrail 12:27, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
There was someone else who was interested in a little reform of this area. Let me look through my posts. If we have enough interest we might be able to sustain the effort to make something good happen. DCDuring TALK 15:07, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I have moved some thoughts on Abbreviations to my talk page pending it becoming more apparent to me what the real problems are (documentation, entry structure, missing templates, ...). I also have to look at the archives for the earlier discussions. DCDuring TALK 19:05, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Related discussion --Guy Macon (talk) 09:29, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

  • The discussion referred to by Guy Macon is archived at: [[1]]. DCDuring TALK 16:10, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

RFD discussion: January–February 2017[edit]

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Any page that consist of initialisms and abbreviations, without any definition of the word or action

Please consider APT; noun has 7 initialisms and proper noun section should link to w:American Public Television, not 3 individual words.

apartment should mention "APT" abbreviation.

APT page is not needed at wiktionary, if we have a disambiguation page at Wikipedia (w:APT).

I suggest to review and remove some wiktionary pages that weren't touched for 2 years. d1g (talk) 17:01, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Also, wikidata:Q4744767 can be filled with all abbreviations in "Also known as" section. d1g (talk) 17:05, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Keep all. Wiktionary is not a rubbish bin for what Wikipedia doesn’t want. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:14, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep. DCDuring TALK 17:25, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep until a more coherent and convincing argument is made. —CodeCat 17:26, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
First, my arguments are not about Wikipedia and their rules or WP inclusion policy (about trash bin).
Secondly, Wikidata stores names and their acronyms coherently; e.g. wikidata:Q30 d1g (talk) 17:38, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
You still haven't made a case for why entries like APT should be deleted, making it no longer possible for users to find out what they mean on Wiktionary. —CodeCat 17:44, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
all meaningful content (full name of the profession, full name of the company) should be migrated, APT is not the best title.
I expect apartment page in results to "APT" query.
Third, abbreviation norms differ per language. "A.A.A." can be a norm, but in other language it should be "AAA"
I'm against punctuation-specific names: A.A.A., AAA d1g (talk) 18:18, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
People will search for APT, because it's written as APT, so the entry should be located at APT. And because APT can mean many things, it cannot be redirected to apartment. —CodeCat 18:21, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
IMO, page should be named with full name et cetera (и так далее).
Individual abbr "etc." "и т.д." should be mentioned in "Alternative forms"
My point it not to redirect from APT to anywhere, but show target page(s) (apartment) directly. d1g (talk) 18:34, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
That makes no sense at all. If someone encounters an abbreviation in a text, how will they know what it means? The whole point of Wiktionary is for them to look it up in order to find out what it means. If we delete the page for the abbreviation, then they can no longer look it up. —CodeCat 18:36, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
...they can find "Apt." at apartment page.
If they are able to understand "apartment" word at APT page, they would able to understand "APT" abbr at "apartment" page.
It makes perfect sense to me not to create pages until absolutely needed to show significance of some abbreviation.
Most of the abbreviations follow trivial "keep first letter of the word"; IMO there not so much value to create a dedicated page for every abbr.
You simply get relater useless и т.д. pages in every language. d1g (talk) 18:51, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
So you want users to rely on the search feature, which will give results for every page with contains "APT" even if they have no information on what it means? You think that's user friendly? Please read WT:CFI, specifically the first section: "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means." APT is a term that people may run across and want to know the meaning of, so it's included. —CodeCat 18:54, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Then where should content be written? Is there an agreement on this?
и т.д.? и т. д.? (I highly doubt that space is meaningful between these 2) и так далее?
etc? etc.? et cetera?
Yes, multiple pages seem an easy solution, but how can I filter out duplicate pages from Wiktionary dumps? d1g (talk) 19:10, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Of course keep all. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:31, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep, but there is merit to the idea that the proper noun senses shouldn't just link to the constituent words. Either a link to the full, three-word entry on Wiktionary be made where one exists, or a link to the corresponding article on Wikipedia, but linking to American, Public and Television separately as that entry does now seems fairly useless. — Kleio (t · c) 17:45, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep as to all. bd2412 T 18:12, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep of course, but I agree with Kleio. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 18:40, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep of course, and I also agree with Kleio. Here, topics are words, are sequences of letters; what would not make sense on Wikipedia is perfectly sound here. Lmaltier (talk) 20:04, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep. And we don't need an entry for every abbreviatable phrase, particularly those in text messaging that may simply be a quicker way to type a perfectly SOP string of words. Equinox 21:06, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep, and I agree with the points raised by Kleio and Equinox. --Dmol (talk) 21:30, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Keep, please. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:34, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Delete. --Quadcont (talk) 18:45, 27 January 2017 (UTC)