GOSS9@telefonica.net March 8, 2006, 2:17 p.m. (Message 44564)
Re: Acronyms and abbreviations (was emcee)
True here in Spain. In fact most people my my part do not understand Basque, but know that ETA pronounced as spelled, means a terrorist group, even without knowing or understanding the acronym. The real problem is for outsiders encountering the daily paperfor the first time. When I first attended a Scottish university, I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of university specific acronyms encountered. Having said that, the real problem here is that when one starts with a consonant such as M, N, L, F, H, R, S, W, X, the initial sound is not picked up. Related story about how acronyms travel. At the end of the season two summers ago, I was the only one doing laps in the village pool, and the lifeguard did not even bother to dress out. I asked what would happen if I had a problem to which she answered, that she would probably get her clothes wet. I then asked, BTW what does one say for help in this part of Spain? when her response sounded like the English word "sauce", I asked what it meant, thinking some obscure Mallorquí or Arabic word. She said she did not know, but that is what they say. That night in a bar, I repeated this story and my question, and got laughed at. The word got started from those little "help" phones on the major highways on the island. The phone boxes say "SOS".