3
$\begingroup$

When an expert says "dAMP" (meaning "deoxyadenosine monophosphate") is it pronounced "dee ay em pee", "lowercase dee ay em pee", "damp", "dee amp", or something else (and does it matter)?

$\endgroup$
12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Does it matter? Laser is also an acronym but we pronounce it as a word instead of individual letters. $\endgroup$ Jan 30 at 8:57
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Of course it matters: wrongly pronounced, people either don't understand or immediately identify the speaker as a beginner. Otoh of course it doesn't matter: you'll find out quickly when you start talking to the pros. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Jan 30 at 14:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh When you write: "Laser is also an acronym but [emphasis mine] we pronounce it as a word instead of individual letters", that's essentially saying: "even though it's an acronym, we still pronounce it as a word." In fact, laser is an acronym precisely because we pronounce it as a word. That's what acronym means: An abbreviation pronounced as a word. So your comment would have been better phrased as: "Laser is considered an acronym because we pronounce it as a word, rather than as individual letters". $\endgroup$
    – theorist
    Jan 31 at 8:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh I'm afraid that's not correct. Abbreviations that aren't pronounced as words, like "RDX" "CPU", or "HIV" are not acronyms. That's what I've been trying to explain. Instead, they're initialisms. Quoting from my Mac's dictionary: "Acronym. An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA)." "Initialism. An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g., CPU)." For more info., see: proofreadnow.com/blog/bid/65823/… $\endgroup$
    – theorist
    Jan 31 at 10:54
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I spent years of my life - and have the publications to show for it - studying how motor proteins work. Thus, a good portion of my working vocabulary at the time was comprised of the word "MgATP," which all parties pronounced "em gee ay tee pee." I hereby cast my vote for "dee ay em pee" in the case we're talking about here. $\endgroup$ Jan 31 at 14:59

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.