Linguist David Wilton in Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends states that "forming words from acronyms is a distinctly twentieth- (and now twenty-first-) century phenomenon.There is only one known pre-twentieth-century word with an acronymic origin and it was in vogue for only a short time in 1886.The early Christians in Rome used the image of a fish as a symbol for Jesus in part because of an acronym—fish in Greek is ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys), which was said to stand for (Iesous CHristos THeou (h) Uios Soter: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior).
Although PS stands for the single word postscript (or the Latin postscriptum), it is often spelled with periods (P. The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of ’s (for example, B’s come after A’s) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way.Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters. Possessive plurals that also include apostrophes for mere pluralization and periods may appear especially complex: for example, the C. Some see this as yet another reason that the correct usage of apostrophes is only for possessives and not for plurals.Others differentiate between the two terms, restricting acronym to pronounceable words formed from components (letters, usually initial, or syllables) of the constituent words, and using initialism or alphabetism).These abbreviations are sometimes described as acronym–initialism hybrids, although most would group them under the broad meaning of acronym.For example, The New York Times’ guide recommends separating each segment with a period when the letters are pronounced individually, as in K. When a multiple-letter abbreviation is formed from a single word, periods are generally proscribed, although they may be common in informal, personal usage.
TV, for example, may stand for a single word (television or transvestite, for instance), and is generally spelled without punctuation (except in the plural). V.) The slash (aka virgule) (/) is often used to show the ellipsis of letters in the initialism N/A (not applicable, not available).
For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus).
Acronyms pronounced as words, however, may be a twentieth century phenomenon.
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.
Traditionally, in English, abbreviations have 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.