Author Topic: Nasa vs NASA  (Read 6763 times)

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11063
  • Likes Given: 329
Nasa vs NASA
« on: 03/19/2006 12:21 PM »
This is just a frivolous thread but,

Why do British publications use "Nasa" vs the proper expression "NASA".  It is not a word but an acronym, in which all letters are capitalized.

Offline hyper_snyper

  • Elite Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 18
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #1 on: 03/19/2006 12:30 PM »
I'm not sure but I think they do that with all acronyms.

Offline Flash Gordon

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #2 on: 03/19/2006 12:32 PM »
It's only the BBC and a couple of papers. Why don;t we link all articles that do it here and have a mailing campaign to get them in order?

Offline JulesVerneATV

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #3 on: 03/19/2006 12:32 PM »
I think those Brits like to give things personality - they ( British publishers ) want to think of Nasa as a person or a thing/object rather than refer to it as an acronym for an agency

Offline Hotol

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #4 on: 03/19/2006 01:27 PM »
Quote
JulesVerneATV - 19/3/2006  7:32 AM

I think those Brits like to give things personality - they ( British publishers ) want to think of Nasa as a person or a thing/object rather than refer to it as an acronym for an agency

Nope, it's just crap journalists.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #5 on: 03/19/2006 07:10 PM »
I noticed the BBC started this off first, but I've no idea why. There's no excuse for it.

Offline SpaceCat

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Florida
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #6 on: 03/20/2006 12:40 AM »
I have to say- what peeves me even more is running into Americans- even residents of Florida and some politicians- who pronounce NASA as though it were an island in the Bahamas.

Offline hyper_snyper

  • Elite Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 18
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #7 on: 03/20/2006 01:21 AM »
Quote
SpaceCat - 19/3/2006  8:40 PMI have to say- what peeves me even more is running into Americans- even residents of Florida and some politicians- who pronounce NASA as though it were an island in the Bahamas.

What peeves me even more than that are certain aircraft designers who, because of recent accomplishments (which NASA achieved 4 decades ago), have the gall to call it 'nay-say'.

Offline PlanetStorm

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • England
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 4
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #8 on: 03/20/2006 08:14 PM »
Quote
Hotol - 19/3/2006  8:27 AM

Quote
JulesVerneATV - 19/3/2006  7:32 AM

I think those Brits like to give things personality - they ( British publishers ) want to think of Nasa as a person or a thing/object rather than refer to it as an acronym for an agency

Nope, it's just crap journalists.

Nope, it's not just "crap journalists". Speaking as a Brit who is (a) not a journalist, (b) a NASA advocate, and (c) a bit lazy on the keyboard, I can say with some authority that it is just that: laziness. So, apologies to all, and I hereby resolve to make more use of my little fingers when typing in the future.


Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11063
  • Likes Given: 329
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #9 on: 03/28/2006 06:27 PM »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11063
  • Likes Given: 329
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #10 on: 03/29/2006 03:17 PM »
I sent an email to the BBC and this is the response:


The BBC's policy is to write acronyms in lower case letters - hence
Nasa, Nato etc. Acronyms which cannot be pronounced as words (or
initialisms are they're sometimes called) - CIA, FBI, RAF etc - are
spelled with capitals. It may not be something that everyone agrees
with, but at least someone here has put some thought into coming up with
a decision.  In fact in the UK, other respected media such as the Times
and Telegraph newspapers follow the same format.

Best wishes,

Ian Jolly
NewsWatch  


Offline Chris Bergin

RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #11 on: 03/29/2006 08:26 PM »
Quote
Jim - 29/3/2006  3:17 PM

I sent an email to the BBC and this is the response:


The BBC's policy is to write acronyms in lower case letters - hence
Nasa, Nato etc. Acronyms which cannot be pronounced as words (or
initialisms are they're sometimes called) - CIA, FBI, RAF etc - are
spelled with capitals. It may not be something that everyone agrees
with, but at least someone here has put some thought into coming up with
a decision.  In fact in the UK, other respected media such as the Times
and Telegraph newspapers follow the same format.

Best wishes,

Ian Jolly
NewsWatch  


"Initialisms" - Hilarity. What the hell the difference between FBI and NASA. None, they are both acronyms. Oh, but others make the same mistake, so it's ok?

"In fact, in the world of terrorism, other terrorist groups, such as Al Queda, resort to beheading their hostages."

Offline Spacely

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #12 on: 04/06/2006 04:58 PM »
FBI isn't an acronym. It's an abbreviation. Acronyms are formed by taking the first letter or (two) from a series of words to form another word. RADAR or SCUBA are the best examples, other than NASA.

Anyway, the BBC's style guide is still awful. Example from today's article on Cassini.

"The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint venture between the US space agency (Nasa), the European Space Agency (Esa) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)."

Nasa, Esa, ASI?! Argh!!! Who calls the ESA "ess-a"?

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32377
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11063
  • Likes Given: 329
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #13 on: 04/06/2006 05:24 PM »
Quote
Spacely - 6/4/2006  11:58 AM  Who calls the ESA "ess-a"?

I don't know who say that but around here (KSC) it is "Ee-sa"

Offline aero313

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #14 on: 04/07/2006 01:46 PM »
Aviation Week confuses this even further.  They print NASA in all-caps, but they print DARPA in lower case (Darpa).  Why? Dunno.  I DO know that DARPA uses all-caps in their own documentation and logo.

Offline Spacely

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #15 on: 04/07/2006 06:04 PM »
The more I think about it, the more I realize that NASA isn't a pure acronym because NASA on its own is not a real word. Now, MESSENGER, however, is a pure acronym.

Offline MikeWeiner

  • Member
  • Posts: 1
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #16 on: 08/29/2018 07:26 PM »
FBI isn't an acronym. It's an abbreviation. Acronyms are formed by taking the first letter or (two) from a series of words to form another word. RADAR or SCUBA are the best examples, other than NASA.

Anyway, the BBC's style guide is still awful. Example from today's article on Cassini.

"The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint venture between the US space agency (Nasa), the European Space Agency (Esa) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)."

Nasa, Esa, ASI?! Argh!!! Who calls the ESA "ess-a"?

Actually, NASA is an acronym, not an abbreviation.

An initialism is a group of letters (usually taken from the first letter of each word) of something of interest.

An acronym is a group of letters (usually taken from the first letter of each word) of something of interest where the letter spell a pronounceable word (i.e. FBI is an initialism, NASA is an acronym).

A weird one is "ID".  ID is an abbreviation.  It's not an acronym, because it is only one word (Identification).  It's not an initialism because it forms a word.  So it's strange, but its an abbreviation like "ETC."

Offline TripleSeven

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 630
  • Istanbul turkey
  • Liked: 265
  • Likes Given: 1073
Re: RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #17 on: 08/29/2018 07:29 PM »
FBI isn't an acronym. It's an abbreviation. Acronyms are formed by taking the first letter or (two) from a series of words to form another word. RADAR or SCUBA are the best examples, other than NASA.

Anyway, the BBC's style guide is still awful. Example from today's article on Cassini.

"The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint venture between the US space agency (Nasa), the European Space Agency (Esa) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI)."

Nasa, Esa, ASI?! Argh!!! Who calls the ESA "ess-a"?

Actually, NASA is an acronym, not an abbreviation.

An initialism is a group of letters (usually taken from the first letter of each word) of something of interest.

An acronym is a group of letters (usually taken from the first letter of each word) of something of interest where the letter spell a pronounceable word (i.e. FBI is an initialism, NASA is an acronym).

A weird one is "ID".  ID is an abbreviation.  It's not an acronym, because it is only one word (Identification).  It's not an initialism because it forms a word.  So it's strange, but its an abbreviation like "ETC."

BZ :)

bravo zulu...well done :)

Offline whitelancer64

Re: RE: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #18 on: 08/29/2018 07:48 PM »
I sent an email to the BBC and this is the response:

<tt>
The BBC's policy is to write acronyms in lower case letters - hence
Nasa, Nato etc. Acronyms which cannot be pronounced as words (or
initialisms are they're sometimes called) - CIA, FBI, RAF etc - are
spelled with capitals. It may not be something that everyone agrees
with, but at least someone here has put some thought into coming up with
a decision.  In fact in the UK, other respected media such as the Times
and Telegraph newspapers follow the same format.

Best wishes,

Ian Jolly
NewsWatch  </tt>


When you reply, spell BBC as "Bbc" (that was nearly painful to type), and see how long it takes for them to correct themselves.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Nick

  • Member
  • Posts: 87
  • UK
  • Liked: 14
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Nasa vs NASA
« Reply #19 on: 08/29/2018 08:27 PM »
When you reply, spell BBC as "Bbc" (that was nearly painful to type), and see how long it takes for them to correct themselves.
Hardly effective, since the BBC's style guide quoted above clearly states that initialisms ("acronyms" not pronounced as words) should be rendered as capitals. "BBC" obviously comes in that category.

I prefer NASA, not Nasa, but the Beeb (see what I did) are quite correct in saying that other organs follow that style. Others don't. Thankfully we don't have a style police yet, so they can do what they want.

By the way, NASA is indeed an acronym, at least in British English. The OED define an acronym as: An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word. The examples they give are ASCII, and NASA. Which they capitalise. Ouch... :)

Tags: