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BTW, WTF is a TLA?

Business writing is littered with abbreviations. They’re helpful for communication between people who are equally well-informed about their meaning.

If you are going to use an abbreviation in a document or presentation make sure you explain it the first time you use it.

A TLA is an abbreviation for three letter acronym but it is, itself, an initialism and not an acronym.

An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word. An initialism is an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (such as TLA).

Some style guides recognise this difference by capitalising all the letters in an initialism but only the first letter of an acronym. Thus BBC for the broadcaster and Nasa for the space agency. And, since I write for accountants, this style approach would mean the major institutes in England would be written as ICAEW, ACCA, Cima and Cipfa.

Back in the days of typewriters, abbreviations would have had full stops (periods) after each letter (such as N. H. S.) but I’ve not seen that style used for 30 years. A full stop is also not needed at the end of abbreviations where the last letter is kept (such as Dr) but is needed where the last letter is omitted (such as Prof.)

Gary Bandy Limited is a company registered in Cardiff, number 5660437.

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