English teaching & learning! Tips, reflections & discussions!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What does it stand for? Acronyms and Abbreviations in English

When teaching or studying ESP it's very common to come across with a lot of abbreviations and acronyms .

An acronym is "a word formed from the first letters of the words that make up the name of something" (that's how it's defined by OALD, or Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary). 

And in this era of micro-blogging and fast written communication, more and more acronyms are created everyday (just have a look on Twitter's "TT" (Trending Topics) and you'll see that).

In the business area, acronyms are usually an important part of the professional jargon.
When someone wants to know the meaning of an acronym the question is:

'What does it stand for?' 

Take a look:

'What does ESP stand for?'
'It stands for English for Specific Purposes'.

Some acronyms can make the answer to this question quite complicated. That's why it's very helpful to have some resources at hand. Besides the traditional Google search engine and the online dictionaries, there are some websites like acronymfinder.com, acronymsearch.com and abbreviations.com.
But take care because an acronym can have lots of different meanings.

For instance, I looked for "ESP" in abbreviations.com and got over a hundred definitions!

(That's all for now. Thanks a lot. See you soon!)

You may also like: 5 tips for ESP teachers
                             Beyond Google Translator

1 comment:

  1. They drive me crazy sometimes.TA and SYS are good examples.
    Thanks for sharing the websites.