You are going to be surprised if you may one day receive an SMS with the following text:
oibmpc lmirl byob! bf4e!
it is simply a friend writing: "Oops, I broke my computer, let's meet in real life, bring your own beer! Best friends for ever!"
AcroLexic is our recent development to assist you with your translation difficulties.
AcroLexic 2.0 is a dictionary of acronyms and abbreviations. Currently it contains more than 70,000 terms with more than 150,000 definitions!
This dictionary will be a valuable addition to your electronic bookshelf. It will relieve you from the pain and stress of tediously searching through countless pages of dictionaries each time you come across an unknown abbreviation.
The correct answer: They are all abbreviations.
Here is what they stand for:
UN (United Nations) are initials formed by using the first letters of each word; also referred to as initialism;
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an acronym in its classic sense. It is an abbreviation which is pronounced as a word. Another example is LASER, which though not commonly known, is actually an acronym. LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
SOS is a backronym. A backronym is a type of acronym that begins as an ordinary word, and is later interpreted as an acronym. SOS, the international panic signal, was chosen due to its ease of transmission when using Morse code (...---...) but is often understood to stand for phrases that had no role in its original conception. Two of the most common variants are "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship".
ICQ (I Seek You) and IOU (I Owe You) are pseudo-acronyms - when pronounced as intended, they resemble the sounds of other words.
VISA is recursive acronym - it is an abbreviation which refers to itself in the expression for which it stands. VISA stands for Visa International Service Association.
But do not worry - even possessing this secret knowledge about the various kinds of these multi-letter species you can still refer to all of these as acronyms:) The same way like BMX (Bicycle Moto-cross(X)) bike can still be called a bike.... perhaps a bit extreme one :)
ATB (All The Best),
AIT Software Development Team