Q. I frequently use the acronym GAAP, which stands for generally accepted accounting principles. Would the acronym be considered a collective noun? Would I treat GAAP as a singular subject when using the acronym but as a plural subject when spelling it out? What if I do both (spell it out and then put the acronym in parentheses)?
A. Browsing online reveals that the initialism GAAP is treated as a singular, and the spelled-out version is treated as a plural, but as you sense, that’s awkward. The most thoughtful and professional solution I saw was to avoid ever using the acronym as the subject of a sentence. Instead, the writers used it either as an adjective (GAAP pronouncements, GAAP terminology, GAAP model) or as an object (according to GAAP, who came up with GAAP, history of GAAP). That seems like a good plan.