In a recent post, I referred to CEO as an acronym, but it’s not. Now that I have been corrected, I’ll share my learning with you.
CEO (for Chief Executive Officer) is an initialism–not an acronym. We pronounce each letter, just as we do with ATM, LCD, and FDA.
NOW for National Organization of Women and OSHA for Occupational Safety and Health Administration are acronyms–abbreviations that are pronounced as words rather than letter by letter.
Sometimes an abbreviation can be both an initialism and an acronym. For example, URL is pronounced by some as U-R-L and by others as “erl.”
And here’s another tidbit for business writing excellence:
If you pronounce URL as U-R-L, use the article a before it. If you pronounce it as “erl,” use the word an.
Don’t you feel wiser now?