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  E-mail abbreviations
Updated 12 December 2003, 10.59
David and Victoria Beckham
Learning aims
  • Identify an abbreviation or acronym.

  • Learn the difference between the two types.

  • Add to existing knowledge of both types.

Introduction
Display the words 'abbreviation' and 'acronym'. Find out from children what their definitions of each are:

Abbreviation - the first letter or letters of each important word placed together eg: TTFN (Ta Ta For Now).

Acronym - an abbreviation that can be said as a word eg: Swalk (Sealed With A Loving Kiss).

Read through with the class the story:

Discuss what the abbreviations stand for.

Main activity
With e-mail, people use abbreviations too. Give students the abbreviations below - can they work out what they stand for?

The most common ones are:

  • As A Matter Of Fact
  • As Far As I Know
  • Away From The Keyboard
  • Also Known As
  • As Soon As Possible
  • Be Back In A Bit
  • Be Back Later
  • Bye For Now
  • By The Way
  • See You Later
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • For What It's Worth
  • For Your Information
  • Great Minds Think Alike
  • Got To Go
  • Ha Ha Only Kidding
  • Hope This Helps
  • In My Humble Opinion
  • In My Opinion
  • In My Not So Humble Opinion
  • In Other Words
  • If You Know What I Mean
  • Just To Let You Know
  • Laughing Out Loud
  • On The Other Hand
  • Sealed With A Loving Kiss
  • That's All For Now
  • Ta Ta For Now
  • What You See Is What You Get
Extension activity
Children research and compile two definitive lists: one headed 'Abbreviations', the other 'Acronyms'. When stuck for ideas they can use dictionaries.

Another good story to use to examine abbreviations and acronyms is:


Plenary
Children report back their lists of abbreviations and acronyms.

Recap on differences between the two types. Ask for the longest they found.

The world's longest abbreviation (from the Guinness Book of Words) is from the Russian language:
NIIOMTPLABOPA
RMBETZHELBETRAB
SBOMONIMONKON
OTDTEKHSTROMONT

Which means (in English):
Laboratory for Shuttering, Reinforcement, Concrete and Ferroconcrete Operations for Composite-monolithic and Monolithic Constructions of the Department of Technology of Building Assembly Operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organization for Building Mechanization and Technical Aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the USSR.


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