Usage and Grammar

Q. I often see initialisms such as EPA and FDA appear without “the.” For example, “One of FDA’s regulations prohibits this.” This comes up particularly often in technical and legal writing and strikes me as pompous. And, yes, these people also speak this way. Please tell me I’m right.

A. But you aren’t right. Local usage and idiom vary; I might say, “I believe the FBI is responsible” but “I believe AIG is responsible,” and you might say the reverse. The writer gets to choose, keeping in mind the document’s readers and any precedent that seems obvious from the research.