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This has become such a problem that it is even evaluated at the level of medical academies such as the American Academy of Dermatology.Acronyms are often taught as mnemonic devices, for example in physics the colors of the visible spectrum are ROY G. They are also used as mental checklists, for example in aviation: GUMPS, which is Gas-Undercarriage-Mixture-Propeller-Seatbelts.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.By 1943, the term acronym had been used in English to recognize abbreviations (and contractions of phrases) that were pronounced as words. In this view, the modern practice is just as legitimate as those in "proper" English of the current generation of speakers, such as the abbreviation of corporation names in places with limited writing space (e.g., ticker tape, newspaper column inches).
While there is no recorded use of military acronyms in documents dating from the American Civil War (acronyms such as ANV for "Army of Northern Virginia" post-date the war itself), they had become somewhat common in World War I and were very much a part even of the vernacular language of the soldiers during World War II, who themselves were referred to as G. The widespread, frequent use of acronyms across the whole range of registers is a relatively new linguistic phenomenon in most languages, becoming increasingly evident since the mid-20th century. To fit messages into the 160-character SMS limit, acronyms such as "GF" (girlfriend), "LOL" (laughing out loud), and "DL" (download or down low) have become popular.There is also some disagreement as to what to call abbreviations that some speakers pronounce as letters and others pronounce as a word.For example, the terms URL and IRA can be pronounced as individual letters: Acronymy, like retronymy, is a linguistic process that has existed throughout history but for which there was little to no naming, conscious attention, or systematic analysis until relatively recent times. The use of Latin and Neo-Latin terms in vernaculars has been pan-European and predates modern English.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.