Entry Types on Cyber Definitions
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Abbreviations, Acronyms, Cyber Terms, Icons, and WordsThe entries in Cyber Definitions are classified either as abbreviations, acronyms, cyber terms, icons, or words.
What Is an Abbreviation?An abbreviation is a shortened version of a written word or phrase. An abbreviation can usually be placed into the category of Initial Abbreviation or Contraction.
Initial Abbreviation (or Initialism).
Initialisms are the most common type of entry in Cyber Definitions. They tend to be written with capital letters with each letter pronounced. In an initialism, the letter is first letter of the word it represents. For example:
A contraction is a shortened version of a word (e.g., just the first few letters) or a compressed version of a word (e.g., the first few letters and the last letter). Here are the types of contraction you might encounter:
- The shortening or compressing of a word: ABS (Absolutely), ACK (Acknowledge) (These are classic contractions.)
- The merging of two words into one: DOKE (Diet Coke), EDDRESS (E-mail Address) (These are also called portmanteau words.)
- The use of initial syllables from multiple words: ABFAB (Absolutely Fabulous), EMOTICON (Emotional Icon) (These are also called syllabic abbreviations.)
What Is an Acronym?
An acronym is an abbreviation spoken like a word. For example, DOS is an acronym because it is pronounced “doss” as opposed to “Dee Oh Ess”. The abbreviation PC is not an acronym. It is not pronounced “pic” but “Pee Cee”. Other examples of acronyms are:
- GOMER (Unwelcome Patient (from "Get Out of My Emergency Room"))
- CAD (Computer Aided Design)
- LOL (Laughing Out Loud) (LOL is only an acronym when pronounced "loll", i.e., not when pronounced "Ell Oh Ell".)
What Is a Cyber Term?
A cyber term is a term which has arisen due to the digital era. It is neither word nor abbreviation. Here are some examples:
What Is an Icon?
An icon is a symbol that represents something. Basically, it's a picture. For example:
What Is a Word?
Cyber Definitions also includes some words which are commonly used in the digital arena. This includes words with new "cyber spellings," as well as slang words. (Slang refers to words, phrases and uses of language that are regarded as very informal and which are often restricted to a special context or a particular group of users.)
Of note, some acronyms and contractions have become so common they have become words in their own rights. You will notice that some entries in Cyber Definitions are classified as more than one type (e.g., word and abbreviation). For example:
- CATFISH (Individual Who Creates a False Online Identity) is both a word and slang phrase.
- AHT (Average Handle Time, Out) is both an initialism and a slang word.
- ABS (Absolutely, Anti-Lock Brakes, Stomach Muscles) is a contraction, an initialism and a slang word.
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