This reference book is published in Detroit by Gale. It is an annual that is 1 volume in 3 parts. The 17th edition was published in 1993. The Gale website had it listed at $895 for the December, 2003 edition.

A typical question that would have a person referred to this book is “What does ‘TGIF’ mean?”

The purpose of the book is to explain acronyms and similar abbreviations. It has 586,000 entries from the time of ancient Rome to present day. The complete word or phrase is the definition. An Acronym is composed of initial letters and is read as a word. An example is LASER (Light Amplified by Simulated Emission of Radiation). An initialism is a verbalized letter such as MPH (Miles Per Hour). An abbreviation is a shortened for of a word. Such as Apr. (April) or PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). The book includes humorous and slang acronyms. It also includes stock symbols and radio and TV call letters. Parentheses contain source codes. Brackets contain English translation, the original language, location of origin, sponsoring organization, and/or the subject category. Obsolete letters are retained for their historical value. The book is alphabetized letter by letter. Spacing, punctuation, and capitalization are ignored. The book is very thorough.

The intended audience is high school students and the general adult population.

LCSH: 1. Acronyms. 2. Abbreviations.