SPON-Forum (abbreviation)

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twinklestar

Senior Member
Chinese
Das SPON-Forum: So wollen wir debattieren
Source: SPIEGEL ONLINE

Hello,

It took a while for me to figure out SPON refers to SPIEGEL ONLINE. (If it is Correct.)

Is it common in German to take the first two letters of a word being acronyms?

Then in German, if you refer to WordReference Rorum, would it be WORE-Forum?

Would you please help me with this?

Thank you!
 
  • ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    I think it's very untypical for German. In Russian and English this seems to occur more frequently.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    No, this is not common, but not unseen. I rate it as quite rare. This "SPON" appears to be English style. Four capital letters usually indicate four initials rather than two and two letters from only two words.

    Usually German acronyms consist of the first letter of each word. Compound nouns give usually one letter per sub-unit.

    LKW = Lastkraftwagen
    TÜV = Technischer Untersuchungsverein
    CDU = Christlich Demokratische Union
    BGB = Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch

    Sometimes more than a letter is taken:

    StGB = Strafgesetzbuch
    IGel = Individuelle Gesundheitsleistungen
     
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    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    I just remembered two examples: Stasi (Staatssicherheit) (well, that's three + two letters) and Vopo (Volkspolizist)...
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Is it common in German to take the first two letters of a word being acronyms?
    If has nothing to do with letters. SP- is the onset of the first syllable of the first word and -ON is nucleus and Coda of the second. This is a variant of the usual construction mechanism because the second word starts with a vowel in writing. The normal rule is to take onset and nucleus of the first syllables of each word.
    I think it's very untypical for German.
    No, this is not common, but not unseen. I rate it as quite rare. This "SPON" appears to be English style.
    Au contraire. It is very traditional in German. It has just recently been overshadowed by been overshadowed my initialisms. SPON is a bit untypical because the second word starts with a vowel and the construction mechanism has been bent a little (onset of the first syllable + rhyme of the second instead of onset and nucleus of both syllables).

    Apart from the examples for police organizations as Holger gave (others are Schupo=Schutzpolizei, Kripo=Kriminalpolizei, Spusi=Spurensicherung, ...) there are others, like Rewe=Rechnungswesen.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    In Russian and English this seems to occur more frequently.
    In Russian, OK, there these types of abbreviations are extremely common. But in English? It is particularly English that prefers initialisms. Can you give any examples where English uses these syllable-oriented constructions?
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    It has just recently been overshadowed by been overshadowed my initialisms.
    Those examples you gave are not in capital letters and spoken as a word of their on. They are an entirely different category. But yes, those kind of acronyms exist and are mostly old-fashioned, even when Azubi or such prove that new formations are possible.

    I still find it hard to see the connection to "SPON", which is a quite "non-German styled" acronym from my point of view. I had the same initial feeling as Holger.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing us to this other kind of acronyms.
     

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    Can you give any examples where English uses these syllable-oriented constructions?
    I thought there were many but I probably confused them with other types of acronyms. Now the only syllable-oriented ones that come to mind are co-op (co-operative), conlang (constructed language) and amphetamine (alpha-methyl-phenethylamine; I had to double-check this one...). - Met Police (Metropolitan Police in London) and Met Office (meteorological office, in the UK) are only partially abbreviated...

    (perhaps another one: Hi-Fi, High Fidelity)
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Hi-Fi and co-op follows the same scheme. But non of the others. Metropolitan Police, e.g., should be *Mepo, if this scheme were really productive in English. I feel this he scheme is doesn't really fit the English language because English lacks the maximum onset rule for syllable structuring, i.e. it metro is not me-tro as in German or Russian but met-ro*.

    English: Radar, Interpol, Scuba, Laser...
    Radar ... only partly follows the scheme. It is essentially an initialism: RAdio Detection And Ranging
    Interpol
    ... is French and not English and not does it follow the scheme. It takes two syllables from the first word.
    Scuba ... is an initialism: Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
    Laser ... is an initialism: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

    __________________________
    *Invalid example. Thanks for pointing this out to me, @Dan2.
     
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    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    In Russian and English this seems to occur more frequently.
    Actually, thinking about it now, many Russian acronyms subdivide words not necessarily into syllables but into something like 'easily recognizable word-building blocks', sometimes only abbreviating the first word, leaving the second one unshortened, so it isn't really a parallel (but that's off-topic).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Back to the main topic: Berndf, do you feel "SPON" as in any way typical German abbreviation?
    Since I had written my last reply it dawned on me that you might not regard SPON as a variant of the Stasi-paradigm (or Russian Tscheka, for that matter).

    Holger seems to have intuitively put it is the same category as I did, so it is not so far fetched. I explained my reasoning why I associated it with that paradigm in #5. Can you tell me your reason for understanding it differently?

    Or don't you agree that Stasi follows a productive German paradigm?
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Or don't you agree that Stasi follows a productive German paradigm?
    I agree. Azubi, BAföG... it's still productive. However, my feeling is that is not as common as it used to be.

    Since I had written my last reply it dawned on me that you might not regard SPON as a variant of the Stasi-paradigm
    As I understood Holger in #2, he intuitively did not see the analogy, too, in the first moment.

    Intuitively, I recognise "SPON" as strange: Capital letters but more than one? That is non-German-style, because German words usually do not have more than one capital letter.

    Intuitively, I would interpret "SPON" as four initial letters. That's the "uncommon" I meant in #3.
     
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    twinklestar

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hi everyone, thank you for your help.:)

    If has nothing to do with letters. SP- is the onset of the first syllable of the first word and -ON is nucleus and Coda of the second. This is a variant of the usual construction mechanism because the second word starts with a vowel in writing. The normal rule is to take onset and nucleus of the first syllables of each word.
    What if the second word starts with a consonant letter?

    For example, Word Reference. Is it WR in German as it is shorten in English? Or is it Wo-Re ?

    I mean in the German language.

    Thanks!
     

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    For example, Word Reference. Is it WR in German as it is shorten in English? Or is it Wo-Re ?
    WR would be the most common abbreviation, as in English, following the same pattern as these examples:
    LKW = Lastkraftwagen
    TÜV = Technischer Untersuchungsverein
    CDU = Christlich Demokratische Union
    BGB = Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
     
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