For Your FYI
TLAs. They’re everywhere. You know—three-letter acronyms or, to be more inclusive, three-letter abbreviations. Some acronyms or abbreviations are even four or more letters long.
FYI, I might have to stop by the ATM on the way to the PTA meeting. Did FDR belong to the NRA or own a BMW? You’d better find out, PDQ.
Strictly speaking, none of those examples is a true acronym. They are all abbreviations. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, acronyms are special abbreviations that are pronounced like a word. For example: NATO, SPAM, and AIDS. However, since ATM is pronounced one letter at a time (eh-tee-em,) it is merely an abbreviation. Feel free to impress your friends with your new-found knowledge.
The jury is still out on what to call abbreviations like JPEG (jay-peg) or MS-DOS (em-ess-doss), since they include a partial acronym. Some refer to these treasures by the catchy term, acronym-initialism hybrids. Just rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it. Though, if you just call them acronyms, I won’t tell anyone.
And what about abbreviations with numbers in them, like Y2K or 4GL? I don’t know. Some people—who they are, I have no idea—even hold that TLA (remember, three letter abbreviations) should be expressed 3LA. It truly makes my head spin.
My biggest pet-peeve surrounding this topic is Redundant Acronym Syndrome or, cleverly, RAS syndrome. This is the “common tendency to use one of the words which make up an acronym or initialism as well as the abbreviation itself, thus in effect repeating that word.” (Wikipedia). Therefore, RAS syndrome = Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome.
This syndrome happens, it seems, when the abbreviation has aged to the point that people forget, or at least don’t consider, the words that the abbreviation abbreviates. Corporate rebranding is a big instigator of this syndrome, as well. Like when Trustee Savings Bank became TSB Bank or Discount Shoe Warehouse changed its name to DSW Shoe Warehouse—one of my favs.
So, gentle readers remember: it is not an ATM machine, a PIN number, a NIC card, the GPS system, or any of these others. Be kind to your TLAs, 3LAs, and other abbreviations. They are working hard for you.
I’d love your comment with your favorite (or most irking) RAS syndrome examples.
Archive for September 2006
Purevizhun posted this link—doesn’t she just have the coolest stuff!
Purevizhun hit some beauties—and rightly so—but Chris Evert and I? What… is up… with that?
What do you do when someone turns off the lights while you’re in the bathroom stall? Yeah. It happened to me this evening.
Now, I should set this up by saying that, at our Kindom Hall, where I was this evening, we have been encouraged to watch expenses. One suggestion was that the lights in the restrooms could be turned off when the hall wasn’t in use. Good idea. After all, we turn out the lights at home when we aren’t using a room, right? Well, you do if you’re the one paying the electric bill. But, I think the key thought there is, when the hall is not in use.
So during the meeting tonight, I had to answer “the call” and headed to the men’s room to do what I had to do. I seem to recall that someone followed me in, but I didn’t pay much attention. I closed the stall door, took my seat, and listened to the program that was piped in through the speaker.
A few minutes later, as the other person left (and—I assume—forgot I was there,) the room went dark. Looking back, I suppose I could have called out that I was still in there, or something. As it was, I didn’t think of it quickly enough. The door closed. Darkness.
And I mean, that room is dark with the lights out. There really wasn’t much to do, though, except what I had come in to do, which I did… in the dark. As I finished and flushed… in the dark… I heard the door open and the lights came on. Good timing. I opened the stall door and stepped out.
My new restroom companion, Shawn, asked me if I had been in there in the dark. To which I said yes, adding that someone had turned out the lights on me. I didn’t want him to think I had some wierd thing about using the toilet in the dark. He speculated that it was a prank, maybe a kid.
Maybe, but by that point, I didn’t much care. There was no harm done, just an interesting experience.
Later on, as I related the events to Lydia, she began to howl with laughter and told me that I should blog about this. And that’s why you got to read about my journey into the heart of darkness.
Ripped off with all due respect from Engrish.com
Have a laugh at http://www.engrish.com/recent.php
Here is another link from Reggie’s blog (that he passed on from others—funny how these things move around.) Anyway, you, too can get drepressed by how slow your broadband Internet connection is.
Here are my results:
I haven’t mapped all my photos, but here are few from near where I live.
I was going to post something funny. But, now I don’t feel very humorous.