Talk:Display resolution

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Abbreviations, initailisms, and acronyms[edit]

Many acronyms are initialisms, but not all initialisms are acronyms. Acronyms and initialisms are both subsets of abbreviations. Scuba, radar, and UNICEF are acronyms; VGA, HD, and WUXGA are abbreviations.

From Acronym,

Although the word acronym is often used to refer to any abbreviation formed from initial letters, many dictionaries and usage commentators define acronym to mean an abbreviation that is pronounced as a word, in contradistinction to an initialism (or alphabetism)—an abbreviation formed from a string of initials (and possibly pronounced as individual letters).

In this case I think using "Abbreviation" is least contentious. However having said that, I have less trouble with using the original "Code" in that table header than using "Acronym". 72.145.214.34 (talk) 22:44, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Technically, the shortened names of display resolutions, like "WXGA" or "HD", are initialisms (formed from initial letters, each letter pronounced separately). "Abbreviation" is either an umbrella term, or more strictly used for shortened forms that use more than one letter from each word or part.
In any case, while the distinction between "acronym" and "initialism" may indeed be observed in some style guides, Wikipedia has its own Manual of Style, which does not make that distinction and in fact considers initialisms to be a subset of acronyms (which in turn are a subset of abbreviations). Therefore, all three words - "abbreviation", "acronym" and "initialism" - could be used in this case. I don't know why "acronym" was chosen. Perhaps because it's more precise than "abbreviation" and more common than "initialism". Personally I see no reason to change it, especially considering that the table in its current form has used "acronym" for over 3.5 years, with no concerns raised until now.
By the way, the original word used in the table for Steam stats was not "code", but "display". Both are worse options than "acronym", though.
If there is consensus that this absolutely must be changed, I'd suggest "standard". However, and I want to emphasise this, I see no compelling reason for the change. "Acronym" is both clear and accurate. Indrek (talk) 23:24, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
That's exactly my point, it's not necessarily accurate. The Acronym article, the MOS, and even your response above all agree that there is a distinction to some readers. Substituting "Acronym" for "Abbreviation" is an acceptable word choice only in some "variations of English," (to borrow the phrasing of the MOS:ABBR). In that section of the MOS, "Herein" refers to those few paragraphs of the MOS:ABBR, which concern mechanics—punctuation, capitalization, plurals, etc. The precise taxonomy is irrelevant to those concerns (A rose by any other name...) so "initialism" and "alphabetism" are subsumed under "acronym" purely for the sake of convenience and brevity in that section of MOS:ABBR.
The link to "Code" above should have been to this diff, showing the introduction of "Acronym" against its immediate predecessor.
I like your suggestion of "Standard" and support it. 72.145.217.243 (talk) 03:39, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
The "some variations of English" part in MOS:ABBR pertains to the distinction between "acronym" and "initialism", not between "acronym" and "abbreviation". And in any case, the former distinction is far from universal. Indeed, the very sentence you quoted above begins with "the word acronym is often used to refer to any abbreviation formed from initial letters".
So my first suggestion remains to leave it alone - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The time and energy spent on arguing over this non-issue would be much better invested elsewhere. Indrek (talk) 09:49, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
But it is broke:
  • The display resolution standards HD and SVGA are pronounced /haitch-dee/ and /ess-vee-jee-ay/ rather than /hud/ and /svay-guh/.
  • Some variations of English require that an acronym be pronounced as a word entire rather than as individual letters.
  • Therefore, to readers from those variations of English that distinguish between "acronym" and "initialism", using "Acronym" as a header in that table is inaccurate, misleading, or at least confusing.
I move that some word other than "acronym" be used. "Abbreviation" was reverted. "Standard" has been suggested and seconded. 72.145.217.243 (talk) 21:08, 27 September 2015 (UTC)