A. NASDAQ is an acronym derived from the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation. Created in 1971 as an offshoot of the NASD, the US National Association of Securities Dealers, it is an automated quotation system that reports on trading of domestic securities not listed on the regular stock markets. In 1992 it was linked to the Stock Exchange in London, the first time two markets had been linked in this way, and it now lists more than 5,000 securities. It publishes two indexes daily as well as other finance indexes. Like that other well-known financial acronym, the FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange - although it can also mean Fault-Tolerant Shuffle-Exchange, whatever that is), it has entered the language as a word in its own right.
Q. So what's an acronym
A. An acronym can be defined as a word formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term, and used as a word. This is not the same as an initialism, such as USA or UK, although there is a school of thought that doesn't make this distinction. The essential point is that the words cease to be seen as a sum of their parts or to be considered as abbreviations.
Q. Any examples
A. There are so many, from PEN International (poets, playwrights, editors, essayists and novelists) to Yuppies (young, urban professionals) and Dinkies (dual income, no kids). There seems to be a growing tendency to use acronymic words for government organisations in the UK (Ofwat, Oftel, etc.) as well as in the military (KFOR, for example). Here are a few, some well known, some less so:
flak - Fliegerabwehrkanone (German for anti-aircraft canon)
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
radar - radio detecting and ranging
snafu - situation normal, all fouled up
UEFA - Union of European Football Associations
Unicef - United Nations (International) Children's (Emergency) Fund
Not to forget the Tardis, which stands for 'time and relative dimension in space'.
You get the idea.
Q. Do you want to know more
A. Naturally enough there are a host of websites on acronyms, mostly American. You might try for general information:
or for more specialist tastes:
http://www.afrl.af.mil/dictionary.html (military interest)
http://ranier.hq.nasa.gov/Sensors_page/MissionLinks.html (space flight)
http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/acronym-list.html (for dog fanciers)
To ask more about Phrases and Sayings click here
By Simon Smith