Today's Grammar Lesson: WIP - Acroynym or Initialism?

Ever since Penn and Teller delved into grammar on a recent episode of Bullshit (not being crude, that's the name of the show), I've been pondering this question.

WIP stands for "work-in-progress." Do you pronounce it like "whip?" Then it's an acronym. Or do you say the letters individually, such as "W...I...P?" Then it's an initialism.


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Comment by I. J. Parker on June 21, 2010 at 8:39am
Surely that term only exists in electronic communications. Texting, sort of. Of course, "work in progress" sounds impressive, as if it were already an entity, a certainty, a masterwork in the making.
About as common among writers as TBR is among readers. They're always bragging about the enormous size of their TBR pile. Frankly, the incompleteness of things troubles me.
Comment by Jon Loomis on June 21, 2010 at 7:34am
I'm with Neil. You could even say "the book I'm working on now." "My work in progress" always sounds a bit stilted to my ear.
Comment by Neil Nyren on June 21, 2010 at 7:19am
Don't say either. Noone will know what you're talking about. Say "work in progress."

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