Tag Archives: Oxford English Dictionary

vacunyms

11 Jan

I think I have invented a new word, lexicographers take note.

I was reading an opinion piece in Education Week by James R. Delisle. In it he writes of “the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (now known simply as ASCD).” It was another example of an organization renouncing the meaning of its acronym while still retaining the letters as its name. For example we are told that  AARP no longer stands for  the American Association of Retired Persons, and that AT&T no longer means American Telephone & Telegraph . This seems to be a growing trend. It is unclear to me why these groups want to dissociate their names from their original meanings.

The Wikipedia entry on acronyms does not discuss the phenomenon (at least not yet), so I take this opportunity to label these non-acronym acronyms “vacunyms.”

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