The correct use of abbreviations

    The golden rule: the genus and number of the abbreviation is determined by the reference word in its decoding. For example, the USA - they (the United States of America), the USSR - it (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), the media - they (the media), the CIS - it (the Commonwealth of Independent States).

    However, the Internet is full of cryptic errors: "The US said ," "The CIS fell apart, " or "The media published ." I believe that they can be allowed by those who do not know the decoding of these abbreviations, as well as while editing in haste, without reading the text: replacing synonyms (newspaper - media) or shortening phrases (the US Department of Defense said - the US said).

    The vast majority of people believe that the word NATO is of a secondary kind: “ NATO applied”,“ NATO responded ”,“ NATO declared ”, less often - male (“ NATO applied ”). In fact, NATO is it, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The male and gender can only appear in the option “NATO Alliance Increased” or “NATO Block Reduced”, and the average - “NATO Leadership”. The traffic police, by the way, is also feminine - although in colloquial speech hardly anyone will say so.


    Some abbreviations have been living in our language for so long that they somewhat disregarded their decryption and began an independent life. So, the Moscow Art Theater began to decline (“the head of the Moscow Art Theater”), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to decline and became masculine (“the Foreign Minister noted”), and the university still lost its capitalization (“in all universities of the country”). This also includes “pillbox”, “registry office” and other commonly used abbreviations: just remember the phrase “TASS is authorized to declare”.


    According to a somewhat dubious source , the longest abbreviation in Russian is NIIOMTPPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBORMONIMONKONOTTTEHSTROMONT. It has 55 letters and it is ... feminine. It stands for: “Research Laboratory for Concrete Reinforcement Operations and Reinforced Concrete Works for the Construction of Prefabricated Monolithic and Monolithic Structures of the Construction and Installation Department Technology Division of the USSR Academy of Construction and Architecture”.

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