Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 5, Number 6
Dec 1992

ISO is Never Spelled with Periods

Quality Systems Update is published monthly by CEEM Information Services in Fairfax, Virginia, as a global ISO 9000 forum and information service. Besides running the news, background articles, letters to the editor, case studies, and discussions of issues, it lists all the companies that achieve registration for each standard, as well as all the ISO quality management training courses, seminars and conferences in the U.S., given by a variety of organizations. Subscriptions cost $495 a year; call 800/745-5565.

The January issue has a sidebar on what the name ISO stands for. It doesn't stand for "International Standards Organization," or anything else, for that matter. "ISO" is a name that is used as an acronym to refer to the International Organization for Standardization, since no single acronym will serve in all three of ISO's three official languages (English, French and Russian). It was taken from the Greek word isos, meaning "equal," as in "isometric." This must mean that you should say it, rather than spell it out, when you are speaking.

As a matter of fact, CEEM is now the official name of the publishing organization, which changed its focus in the past from the environment to quality, thus making the original name irrelevant. ASTM and TAPPI also prefer to be known by their acronyms, although the names behind the acronyms are still relevant: American Society for Testing and Materials, and Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.

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