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Expansion at first use and the abbreviation-key feature are aids to the reader that originated in the print era, and they are equally useful in print and online.

In addition, the online medium offers yet more aids, such as tooltips, hyperlinks, and rapid search via search engine technology. An acronym may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship.

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Other examples of mnemonic acronyms include CAN SLIM, and PAVPANIC as well as PEMDAS.

It is not uncommon for acronyms to be cited in a kind of false etymology, called a folk etymology, for a word.

The word is colinderies or colinda, an acronym for the Colonial and Indian Exposition held in London in that year." However, although acronymic words seem not to have been employed in general vocabulary before the 20th century (as Wilton points out), the concept of their formation is treated as effortlessly understood (and evidently not novel) in a Poe story of the 1830s, "How to Write a Blackwood Article", which includes the contrived acronym P. Having a key at the start or end of the publication obviates skimming over the text searching for an earlier use to find the expansion.

(This is especially important in the print medium, where no search utility.

In English, abbreviations have traditionally been written with a full stop/period/point in place of the deleted part to show the ellipsis of letters – although the colon and apostrophe have also had this role – and with a space after full stops (e.g. Such punctuation is diminishing with the belief that the presence of all-capital letters is sufficient to indicate that the word is an abbreviation.

Some influential style guides, such as that of the BBC, no longer require punctuation to show ellipsis; some even proscribe it.

The general reason for this is convenience and succinctness for specialists, although it has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an acronym that already existed.

The medical literature has been struggling to control the proliferation of acronyms as their use has evolved from aiding communication to hindering it.

Like retronymy, it became much more common in the 20th century than it had formerly been. Some examples of acronyms in this class are: Acronyms are used most often to abbreviate names of organizations and long or frequently referenced terms.

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