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Fine-Tuning 24, Abbreviations/Acronyms and Redundancy

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 09:21 am
Sometimes acronyms and/or abbreviations become so familiar that we don't stop to think about what the letters stand for. What happens? They get repeated.

For example, PIN stands for personal identification number. We wouldn't say "my personal identification number number," but we might be inclined to say, "my PIN number."

Another example: SAT stands for Scholastic Assessment Test. If you say, "My son is taking the SAT test next week," you'd be redundant.

Another example: ATM stands for automated teller machine, so you don't need to say "machine" if you say ATM.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 2,901 • Replies: 20
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 09:23 am
These are not important considerations, but they are high on my list of pet peeves.

I'm going to lodge a complaint with the Office of Repetetive Redundancy Bureau Commission.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 09:31 am
No, not important life considerations, but a little important in writing. When you contact the ORRBC commission, please send them my regards.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 09:36 am
roberta : yes, one needs to say only ATM, that should be sufficient. some of as older people approach this expression in a sort of backward way; we may not have known right -a-way what an ATM is, but we do know a MACHINE, so we just put the ATM in front of it. i guess some people don't look upon it as an abbreviation but a particular kind of machine called ATM. personally i usually call it a "banking machine" or even just THE BANK, because one hardly goes to a teller at all anymore. hbg
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 08:04 pm
I sometimes call it the bank-in-a-box... Usually tho, I just use my card at the grocery store and ask for a little extra cash...
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Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2003 09:51 pm
They always ask at the grocery store whether I want cash back, and I always ask in turn whether it would be my cash or the store's. So far, its always been mine, so I pass on their kind offer.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2003 12:14 am
Albertson's is one of the major grocery chains here, and they have advertised, "Albertson's -- it's your store!" So, I tell the clerk, since it's my store, I'll just take my groceries and go... they smile, but I end up paying anyhow...
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2003 07:47 am
We're up to our eyeballs in acronyms and abbreviations. TV, VCR, ATM, PIN, PC, etc. It's a good thing we all learned the alphabet. I'd like to belated thank Miss Frances from Ding-Dong School.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2003 09:12 pm
Why is the alphabet in the order it's in, anyhow? Is it because of the song?
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 09:55 am
Wy, I'm sure that's the reason. :-)
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 01:06 pm
Hey, Roberta. Merry Christmas. Initials and acronyms differ, do they not?

There used to be a hard and fast rule, that should a writer begin with initials and acronyms, the explanation appeared in parentheses. There after, the acronym or initials could be used.

WHO- (world health organization)
RAM-(random access memory)
WMD-(weapons of mass destruction)

Sorry if I have overstated my case (OMC) Laughing
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 02:28 pm
Hi Letty, My understanding of the rule is not the same as yours. At the first mention, the term is spelled out with the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. Thereafter, the abbreviation/acronym may be used without explanation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) did the following...

I frequently forget my personal identification number (PIN) for one of my credit cards. The PIN for my bank card is firmly embedded in my brain.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 03:26 pm
Spekaing of PIN's, i always use the same one, and it is deedply imbedded in my memory of historical trivia--therefore, not to be forgotten, and unlikely to be guessed at. That of course, does not apply to the pins in the dressmaker's dummy i have at home . . .
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 03:33 pm
Hmmm, Roberta. I'm either suffering from ADD or CRAFT. Maybe both.

and even Re-done-dances. (RDD)

I don't know what Setanta is down with. Need to check with the AMA.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2003 03:48 pm
LBJ took the IRT
Down to Fourth Street, USA.
When he got there,
What did he see?
The youth of America on LSD.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 05:24 am
Letty, NBD on the RRD, ADD, and CRAFT.

Setanta, A dressmaker's dummy with pins? Not a voodoo doll?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 05:29 am
This PM, i'm agonna go to CMH to take the AC jazz flight to T.O., then go to the TTC station and meet my sweetiepie on the subway platform.

All y'all have a wonderful holiday, see ya in th funny papers . . .
0 Replies
 
Clary
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2003 11:39 am
Only you or a fellow undiscovered-countryman would know what you are doing!

When I lived in Hong Kong we used to take the LTR and the bus to the MTR, the MTR to TST and the Star Ferry to the CBD.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 02:29 pm
Roberta is right, regarding first references, at least as far as the newspaper stylebooks are concerned. When I worked for United Press International, the rule was that one always spells it out in the first reference, even when it's a universally known acronym like the FBI. The UPI Stylebook said it's always the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the first reference.

As for ATMs, the felony is compounded by the fact that banks (and other places which give one access to ATMs) seem to wish to encourage this sort of redundancy. Last couple of days I've been walking the streets of San Francisco and noting, with dismay, that there are signs all over the place which tel me that an Autmated Teller Machine machine is available inside. I want to kick these signs.

But they seem to be semi-literate here anyway. There's a sign on a deli here, right near the intersection of Market and Geary which advertises 'New York style bagel's.' True story. Sad but true.
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Wy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 04:11 pm
Dave Barry sez the purpose of the apostrophe is to alert people that an S is coming... his example sentence was "We do not except check's"...
0 Replies
 
 

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