Re: Acronyms (off-topic)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 11:17:52 EDT

Patrick Andries <> wrote:

> Well, ISO apparently is not an acronym but a reference to the Greek
> element « isos » (equal) chosen for its language-neutrality. That's at
> least the official story. Note that many technical magazines or even
> dictionaries in France believe it to be an English acronym...

Many English speakers also think ISO is an abbreviation or initialism
(not "acronym"; that term is correct only when the resulting "word"
is actually pronounced, like "AIDS" or "SIDA") of the English name
"International Standards (or Standardization) Organization." Of course,
this is wrong.

English and French both borrow abbreviations from each other. Before
it was renamed "ITU-T," English speakers used the French name "CCITT"
to refer to the committee responsible for, among many other things,
modem standards and international telephone numbering plans.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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