kaled - 11:43 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
For those that don't understand...
Acronym : a word formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name.
Words are spoken they are NEVER spelled out in normal spoken English. This is remarkably simple to understand if you consider writing to be a representation of spoken language, as opposed to spoken language being a representation of writing.
USA is an abbreviation not an acronym.
In order to be an acronym, it would, by definition, have to be pronounced something like "you sar".
By definition, an acronym is an abbreviation of a word or phrase. It varies because some words would sound awful if you said them as one word.
If it is difficult to pronounce and needs to be spelled out, by definition, it is not an acronym, it is an abbreviation, sometimes called an initialism (yuck) provided that it was formed by taking the first letter of each word in a name or phrase. For instance, NASA (pronounced "nassar") is an acronym but EVA (pronounced "ee vee ay" - extra vehicular activity) is an abbreviation/initialism as are NSA, FBI, CDC and CIA.
Incidentally, the purpose of any sort of abbreviation, be it an acronym or initialism (yuck) is brevity. For this reason, URL should be pronounced "earl" since this requires one syllable as opposed to "you are elle" which requires three syllables. Consequently, it should be written in lower case as url.