I have heard a lot of people saying-

  1. It's an HIV virus.

  2. I study in BJS school. and so on...

This means-

  1. It's a Human immunodeficiency virus virus

  2. I study in Bishop Johnson School School.

Is it correct according to grammar?

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2 Answers 2


It is quite common. My guess would be that most acronyms stand for many different things. To make it clear which of those things we mean when we use a particular acronym, we name the type of thing it is. HIV virus. BJS school. NDP party (a common Canadian example). Naming the type narrows down the potential meanings, usually enough to make it clear what the acronym stands for.

But, coincidentally, the word that describes the type is also commonly the last letter in the acronym. So we get repetition of that word, technically. But we also get greater clarity of communication, and that is the point.

  • There is also at least one odd case that occurs to me: the NATO alliance. The O in NATO stands for organization, which describes its type, but then people commonly add "alliance", which also describes its type.
    – user10365
    Jun 20, 2016 at 4:34

This is nothing whatever to do with grammar. Nothing.

It is about the meaning of words.

For a speaker who retains the original meaning of the acronym, it is redundant: This is not necessarily a problem: we have plenty of redundancy in language. For a speaker to whom the acronym has become opaque, it is not even that: the acronym is simply a modifier for the head noun.

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