Words & Stuff

ii: TLAs, PDQ! (Reader Comments and Addenda)

(17 March 1998)

I had already mentioned Roy G. Biv in another column. Oops. I ought to check the index before writing. Maybe I need a mnemonic for remembering what I've written about.

Pierre Abbat mentions a recursive acronym he's seen on bumper stickers: "BASS, which stands for Bass Anglers Sportsman Society."

Several people wrote in to fill in blanks in Joe Marriott's initialisms table. Darren notes that "10C (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition) lists a number of abbreviations in a special section near the back of the book," from which he provided several additions to the table. He asked what MTBF means -- it's Mean Time Between Failures -- and suggested an alternate, MEGO, for My Eyes Glaze Over, which I was tickled by because I came up with the same acronym back in college. He provided lots of further items for this table which I haven't included yet mostly because I haven't heard of 'em; will likely fill them in soon.

AAMABAAARPASPCA
BBOBBBBMOC
CCDCIACCCPCOMEX
DDTDARDTMFDARPA (DR)
EERETAESPNEPROM
FFMFBIFDIC
GGEGNPGATT
HHOHMSHDTV
IIVIRSIEEE
JJBJFKJPEG (DF)
KKOKFC (PA)KAOS
LLPLEDLAPDLMNOP
MMDMTAMTBFMASER (PA)
NNGNBANRBQNAACP
OOKOEDOPEC
PPUPDQPROM (PA)PFLAG (DF)
QQTQEDQBVII
RRVROMRTFMRADAR
SSJSROSPQRSONAR
TTBTBDTGIF
UUVUHFUSMC
VVAVHSVSOP
WWBWPAWWWF
XXLXYZXTRA
YYA (DF)YMCA
ZZPG

PA is Pierre Abbat; DR is Darren Rigby; DF is Danny Fahs; Bh is Bhadrika. Alternates mentioned include: EEPROM (PA) (won't fit in table), KGB (DF/Bh), PSAT (Bh), GMAT (Bh).

Will Doak forwards a recursive acronym from Dilbert: The TTP Project. He also mentions TMC, "The MicroStation Community," and says he often sees references to "the TMC," although not (yet) to "the TMC community." Which reminds me of phrases like "PIN number" and "automatic ATM machine." I think I've seen an extensive list of such phrases somewhere online, but am too sleepy right now to dig it up... Perhaps in a future column.

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Jed Hartman <logophilia@kith.org>