Difference between acronyms and initials?
I have always believed that an acronym had to be a pronouncable word, like RADAR or LASER, not just a set of initials like IBM or CIA, but I see more and more references that suggest that this is not a generally held belief.
Even the OED seems confused:-
1. A group of initial letters used as an abbreviation for a name or expression, each letter or part being pronounced separately; an initialism (such as ATM, TLS).
2. A word formed from the initial letters of other words or (occas.) from the initial parts of syllables taken from other words, the whole being pronounced as a single word (such as NATO, RADA).
Although Chambers states: acronym (noun) a word made from the first letters or syllables of other words, and usually pronounced as a word in its own right, eg NATO.
Compare abbreviation, contraction, initialism.
Let the games begin! :-)