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Acronym Finder and Dictionary

About Acronyms and Acronyms.net

About Acronyms .net
About Acronyms .net
About Acronyms .net
About Acronyms .net
About Acronyms .net
About Acronyms .net

Acronyms .net Technology

All of the web-based acronym references, including the full HTML web pages, mobile web pages and PDF documents on the Acronyms.net site are generated from a single source document created from our database of acronyms. We are currently using MySQL for the acronym database.

Definition of Recursive Acronyms

Some acronyms and initialisms are themselves made up of other acronyms. Any acronyms with expanded definitions that contain acronyms that can be expanded further are properly called Recursive Acronyms(3). Here are some examples:

RSS
RDF Site Summary
UFD
USB Flash Drive
XSD
XML Schema Definition
and any acronym definition containing "API"
For example, the JAXP acronym, meaning Java API for XML-Based RPC, contains three other acronyms: API, XML and RPC.
Other examples of recursive acronyms include:
  • JTA
  • and
  • SAC
  • , for which the acronym definition contains two other acronyms.

Note that some initialisms such as the SQL/PL acronym, meaning SQL Procedural Language, and the XHTML-MP acronym, meaning XHTML Mobile Profile, which initially might look like they are recursive, are neither recursive acronyms, since the acronym referenced (SQL and XHTML, respectively) is included in its entirety, nor are they self-referential, since the first word in those acronym definitions reference a different acronym, not the entire acronym itself.

When other acronym references discuss recursive acronyms, the examples given are almost exclusively Self-Referential Recursive Acronyms. Self-Referential Acronyms are a specific subset of recursive acronyms in general.

3) Where the word recursive retains its mathematical meaning of application of an algorithm, to the results obtained from previous iterations using the same algorithm. In this case, the recursive function is the acronym generator algorithm, the procedure of using one or more of the initial letters of each word.

Definition of Self-Referential Acronyms

Self-referential acronyms or initialisms are abbreviations with definitions that reference the acronym itself. That is, the entire acronym is included as one of the words in the acronym meaning. Some examples are:

GNU
GNU's Not Unix
PHP
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
SQL
SQL Query Language
VISA
Visa International Service Association

Definition of Redundant Acronyms

Redundant acronym usage, sometimes humorously called RAS Syndrome, occurs when commonly used acronym phrases include one of the words in the acronym itself. For example:

ABS system
Anti-lock Braking System system
% APR
percent Annual Percentage Rate
ATM machine
Automated Teller Machine machine
DSL line
Digital Subscriber Line line
GRE exam
Graduate Record Examination exam
GPS system
Global Positioning System system
HIV virus
Human Immunodeficiency Virus virus
NIC card
Network Interface Card card
PIN number
Personal Identification Number number
Please RSVP
Please Répondez, S'il Vous PlaÎt (not "Respondez, Sil Vous Plait"), which translates to
Please answer, please
SATs tests
Scholastic Assessment Tests tests

The redundancy in some of the acronym phrases above is not necessarily improper. For example, you should be able to discuss a specific piece of personal security information such as your PIN number or a specific virus such as the HIV virus in the singular as much as you could talk about your SSN and PIN numbers or the Herpes and HIV viruses. Experimenting with wording in a plural context may help determine whether to use the redundant acronym in a singular context:

PIN
"I gave him my SSN and PIN and became a victim of identity theft!"
"I gave him my PIN and became a victim of identity theft!"
PIN number
"The customers SSN and PIN numbers should always be encrypted."
"The customers PIN number should always be encrypted."
HIV
"We were relieved when our HIV tests were both negative."
"I was relieved when my HIV test was negative."
HIV virus
"We have been trying to find a cure for the Herpes and HIV viruses."
"We have been trying to find a cure for the HIV virus."

Online Dictionary

Other Online References

In addition to the online acronym references right here at Acronyms .net, here are some links to other online references you might find useful for developing web sites using HTML:

The Semantic Web

Acronyms .net is not only one site of the Semantic Web but enables web site developers to add semantic content to other web sites. By providing semantic information for any acronyms used on a site, the acronyms become disambiguated. Including this information on a web site also improves the web site's accessibility, by providing additional information for text-to-speech (auditory) browsers, which are used by people with sight disabilities.

Last updated Saturday February 21, 2009

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