Style

Definite Article (The) with Initialisms and Acronyms

Dragoman prefers preceding initialisms with a definite article. An initialism is an abbreviation formed from initial letters. They require “the”, because they are pronounced letter by letter.

Incorrect: Trump told world leaders to support overhauling U.N.

Correct:     Trump told world leaders to support overhauling the U.N.

An acronym, on the other hand, is a word made up from the first letters of the name of something such as an organization. For example, NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Because they are pronounced as words, there is no need to precede them with definite article:

Incorrect:  Russia’s president Putin wants to show the NATO he is ready for a fight.

Correct:     Russia’s president Putin wants to show NATO he is ready for a fight.

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