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Possessive acronyms: what do you think?
Thread poster: zabrowa
zabrowa
Local time: 15:50
Feb 9, 2009

So, this writer has decided to abbreviate the work of McCain, Palin, and Frankenstein as MPF (instead of McCain et al - though this is logical as there are several such references by this author in conjunction with others in the article and the one in question, MPF, is used very often).

However, phrasing like "MPF's analysis suggests that...." make me uneasy.

What do you think/suggest?

Thanks for your help!


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 15:50
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
In their analysis ... Feb 9, 2009

Matt Coler wrote:

So, this writer has decided to abbreviate the work of McCain, Palin, and Frankenstein as MPF (instead of McCain et al - though this is logical as there are several such references by this author in conjunction with others in the article and the one in question, MPF, is used very often).

However, phrasing like "MPF's analysis suggests that...." make me uneasy.

What do you think/suggest?

Thanks for your help!

... MPF suggested that ... (?)

MPF ?! Working on 2012 agenda? Like on how to improve the view of eastern Siberia from Palin's window?? Horror, oh horror of it all...

[Edited at 2009-02-09 12:52 GMT]


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:50
German to English
+ ...
in an academic work... Feb 9, 2009

... I would seriously question the propriety of using 'MPF' instead of 'McCain et al.'. IMHO it's OK to create an abbreviation if you are referring to an entity (concrete or abstract), but 'McCain, Palin and Frankenstein' is not an entity, although their work may be. I'd thus be willing to accept usage such as 'the MPF hypothesis' in the interest of brevity, but not MPF as an abbreviation of the names of the parties.

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Héloïse King  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:50
French to English
+ ...
It is correct Feb 9, 2009

Setting aside the question of whether the abbreviation itself is correct, there is nothing wrong with an acronym followed by 's. Eg. "the PM's decision to...", "JFK's murder" etc.

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
agree wholeheartedly Feb 9, 2009

Ken Cox wrote:

... I would seriously question the propriety of using 'MPF' instead of 'McCain et al.'. IMHO it's OK to create an abbreviation if you are referring to an entity (concrete or abstract), but 'McCain, Palin and Frankenstein' is not an entity, although their work may be. I'd thus be willing to accept usage such as 'the MPF hypothesis' in the interest of brevity, but not MPF as an abbreviation of the names of the parties.


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