Acronym (N&N) singular or plural?


Senior Member
France - French
Good afternoon Everybody,

I'm writing a dissertation about nanoscience and nanotechnology and I was wondering whether the acronym (N&N) is singular or plural. For instance, N&N provides (or provide) a good opportunity to... I found both so I'm wondering which one is correct. I'm writing in BE if that makes any difference.

Thank you very much.

Have a good day!

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Singular sounds much better to me. I don't know N&N, but two of the most familiar of these initial pairs are M&A and R&D, and I would always use singular with these.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    May I point out that N&N is not an acronym? It is simply a pair of initials.

    An acronym is a 'word' or name made up by putting together a set of letters, usually initials, taken from a title or phrase.

    In the case of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, its initials are N A T O; its acronym is Nato, which is written and spoken as if it were a word. 'N&N' does not make a word and is not treated as one.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The reason R&D is sometimes treated as singular is that it is often used to refer to a single organizational unit or function. It is the department or function that is treated as singular, not the abbreviation.

    If nanoscience and nanotechnology are often considered to be a single unit, use the singular. Otherwise, I would treat the short form N&N exactly as I would treat the long form nanoscience and nanotechnology. I think that means plural.
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