Better RFP Responses & Management
Term: MOU

Term: MOU

Memorandum of Understanding; acronym pronounced by spelling it out.


  1. Pingback: Term: Memorandum of Understanding – Proposal Land

  2. Jim Taylor

    But I would caution that acronyms take on different meanings in different settings. At some point, I’d argue, every acronym should be spelled out in full. In the medical world, for example, MOU apparently stands for some kind of procedure in which the biopsy is put under a microscope immediately, to ensure that ALL the cancerous cells have been removed, and the surgery is not considered complete until that go-ahead is received. But don’t ask me what the initials stand for. And I think, in the medical context, they’re pronounced as a cow would.

    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – I couldn’t find the MOU you listed but I did find Midwife Obstetric Unit, along with Maharishi Open University. In proposal writing, the standard is to spell out the acronym the first time it’s used in the “document” and then to use the acronym thereafter. Document in quotes because you have to decide whether that means the whole document (of what might easily be 300 to 1,000 pages) or each section that is likely to be marked by an independent evaluator. And, of course, if an acronym is defined on page 1 and not used again until page 50, readability suffers. My standard is to use as few as possible company-generated acronyms. Client acronyms (like DND) should be OK and industry acronyms (like ISO 9001) are better in many cases than the thing spelled out, but the last safeguard is to provide a list of acronyms along with the Table of Contents.

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