Re: ACRONYMS and the English Language

David Houston (dhouston@MOOSE.UVM.EDU)
Mon, 28 Mar 1994 08:50:22 -0500

The increasing use of these acronyms, IMHO, is going to alter not just
our linguistic competence (those of us who are 'netters), but it would
seem to be creating a language "class" of its own. Indeed, when I began
my Net travels, these were FAFB, but of late - and not coincidentally,
concurrent with the rise of Internet use - their proliferation seems to
be gaining speed nearly exponentially!
Will those who are non-literate in such terms be "left out" in Netland?
Are those persons who dont RTFM going to be languishing with the cast-off
remnants of old, slow hardware?
The whole thing would would make a fascinating study...
There are some of these acronymns that cause me to ROTFL long and hard!
And I'm not even proficient in such gramar!

On Fri, 25 Mar 1994, Douglas B Hanson wrote:

> I've just finished reading a 2000 word paper in computer science that had
> no less than 43 different acronyms. Many of these were repeated throughout
> the paper so that I came across 75 acronyms during my reading. Although
> computer science and technology and military documents tend to be the worst
> offenders when it comes to acronyms, this is no longer a problem restricted
> to these disciplines. Whenever I pick up a scientific journal and read an
> article, I am usually besieged by acronyms and over the years many of these
> acronyms have become standardized (legitimized??) in the literature. It has
> gotten so that I need to carry a cheat-sheet around with me just so that I
> can remember what the acronym stands for. How do these acronyms get
> legitimized in the literature and do other languages use acronyms as
> frequently as we do in the English language? TTFN and TGIF.
> Douglas B. Hanson, Ph.D.
> Bioengineering Department
> Forsyth Dental Center
> 140 Fenway
> Boston, MA 02115