General Question

mirifique's avatar

What are the punctuation rules regarding acronyms?

Asked by mirifique (1537points) May 8th, 2009

For example, sometimes I read N.A.S.A., sometimes NASA. Under what circumstances do you keep the dots? What are the prevailing rules?

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7 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Neither one is wrong. It’s a matter of style, and styling varies from publisher to publisher. Within a given document or paper or article, you should follow a single practice: if you write N.A.S.A., you should also write U.S.A. and U.K.

Most places these days do follow a style that omits the periods.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Grammatically speaking, you leave in the dots.

Thomassen's avatar

Well, say U.S. for example. If you take out the periods, you get US. people will think you are putting you and me.

janbb's avatar

My son went to NYU – or is it N.Y.U.? I’ve seen it written both ways. For well know acronyms, I think it is common to leave out the period, but certainly always correct to put it in.

SuperMouse's avatar

I leave them out if the term is an acronym that is spoken as a word (such as NASCAR or SCUBA). I tend to put them in if it isn’t (such as C.I.A. or U.S.A.)

FGS's avatar

Depends on the policy of the institution. The Army (whom is world renowned for their use of acronyms) leaves all acronyms capitalized and without periods.

AstroChuck's avatar


or should that be W.T.F.D.I.M.?

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