Acronyms and abbreviations (was emcee)
Jim Healy March 8, 2006, 10:41 a.m. (Message 44557)
Greetings! Andrea writes: >1) The English language, on both sides of the Atlantic has an obsession >about shortening words and creating acronyms of compound words. The same >does not apply to, for example, romance languages. Certainly not to >Italian, Andrea, I must disagree. Try reading the Corriere della Sera without knowing the meaning of CIGL, CISL and UIL (the main Unions) An, FI, PDS, FI (the political parties) and so on, to say nothing of 'democristiani' or l'Ulivo. I will agree that other languages can be worse with business letters in Dutch leading the way with their t.g.v (in favour of) and t.a.v.(for the attention of) and dozens more abbreviations that make them unintelligible even to someone who speaks the language. Jim Healy Perth and 98000 MC
GOSS9@telefonica.net March 8, 2006, 2:17 p.m. (Message 44564, in reply to message 44557)
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".