Unique Numbering of Specimens

Richard Faulder faulder at AGRIC.NSW.GOV.AU
Wed Aug 2 08:42:36 CDT 1995

On Mon, 31 Jul 1995, John Bruner wrote:

> On Mon, 31 Jul 1995, Peter Rauch wrote:
> > "...... A current, somewhat imperfect
> > system of similar nature is used by collections to identify the collection
> > and/or institution --the traditional acronym, e.g., amnh, fmnh, cas,
> etc...." > Peter
> >
> SORRY PETER, I am not picking on you, but there seems to be an awful lot of
> people on TAXACOM who do not know that the word "acronym" CANNOT be used
> for museum abbreviations. An acronym is a WORD made up of the first
> letter or several letters of a string of words.  Examples of "acronyms"
> are SNAFU, RADAR, SCUBA. Abbreviations or codons of museums are NOT acronyms
> because they are not WORDS.  The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's SVP
> Bibliography has a section in the back of the last three issues which also
> misuses the word "acronym." AMNH, FMNH, and CAS are not acronyms but
) codons or abbreviations for museums.  Because these abbreviations are
) not WORDS on their own right they are not acronymns.
     I am afraid I find this a bit nit-picking. The words you cite as
"true" acronyms were once simply abbreviations, just as the museum names
are. However, wide use has led to their passing into the public domain as
"real" words, written in lower case. This is unlikely to happen to the
museum names, because they are unlikely to pass into general public use.

                        Richard J. Faulder
                        Yanco Agricultural Institute
                        Yanco NSW 2703

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