acronym of/for World Health Organization

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,

Which is idiomatic?

1. WHO is the acronym for World Health Organization.

2. WHO is the acronym of World Health Organization.

3. The acronym of WHO means World Health Organization.

4. WHO, an acronym, means World Health Organization.

I guess 2. is not idiomatic.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Miba54.

    You reminded me that to use 'stand for' is a good way to go without committing a mistake.

    But I'd like to know how to use the word acronym.

    Is "The acronym of World Health Organization is WHO." idiomatic?

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    None of them. WHO is not an acronym because it is not pronounced as a word. It is an initialism and is pronounced "double-you aitch oh". You could say this in several ways, but I suggest the nearest to your sentences are "'WHO' is an abbreviation of 'World Health Organisation'." or miba54's "'WHO' stands for 'World Health Organization'." The AE view of this might be different, but I don't think "WHO" is an acronym in America either.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Andygc.

    I have not noticed the difference between acronym and abbreviation.

    Thank you, Andygc, for letting me notice that.

    So, I'd like to ask you again.

    Which is idiomatic?

    1. AIDS is the acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
    2. AIDS is the acronym of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

    Thanks in advance.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Andygc.

    I think that 'of' would be the most confusing preposition. And your post makes my understanding more precise.

    Thank you, again,
    taked4700
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    None of them. WHO is not an acronym because it is not pronounced as a word. It is an initialism and is pronounced "double-you aitch oh". You could say this in several ways, but I suggest the nearest to your sentences are "'WHO' is an abbreviation of 'World Health Organisation'." or miba54's "'WHO' stands for 'World Health Organization'." The AE view of this might be different, but I don't think "WHO" is an acronym in America either.
    In certain environments it is pronounced as the word. Not sure that's an AE/BE thing as much as a technical field vs. non-technical one. I worked extensively with the organization and some of its materials and we routinely referred to WHO guidelines and reference materials etc. as it saved time and effort when used that frequently to say "who". We did say out NIH (en-eye-aitch) when referring to their materials (not Ni! - too reminiscent of Monty Python perhaps:), while Who was instantly recognized in context). However, outside such a specialized community, I would agree that most people would take the time to say it out as Andy describes.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I'm from the USA and I agree with Andy.

    I've never heard it pronounced as the word "who", but only as the the letters spelled out. I hear "W-H-O" and not "WHO".

    So I would have to say, "W.H.O. are the initials of the World Health Organization, and it is frequently referred to by those initials only."

    It is definitely not an acronym where I come from.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Out of curiosity I looked at the WHO official website and there is nothing there to give you a clue on how they intend to pronounce the "WHO".

    Their English is suspect in any case.

    Who we are, what we do

    About WHO
    Who we are, what we do
    Our goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top