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  • Strathspey

    Strathspey March 8, 2006, 6:26 p.m. (Message 44576)

    RE: Emcee

    Acronym's have been the bane of my life since I joined the IT department at
    work where everything is referred to in Acronyms. I had to get to grips with
    the PID, SOR, BRD, FRS, SDS etc. etc. etc.
    The lowest point was when I sat through a whole hour of a meeting puzzling
    over the chairman's first sentence: "And we will need a TLA for this
    "TLA? TLA?" I thought. "Trans-Lunar Altitude? Terminal Language Application?
    Tired, Listless and Apathetic?"
    I eventually worked out that TLA meant "Three Letter Acronym"
    TTFN (that's an FLA no doubt!)
    Graham Hamilton
    -----Original Message-----
    ]On Behalf Of Andrea Re
    Sent: 08 March 2006 00:36
    To: SCD news and discussion
    Subject: Re: Emcee
    For Fiona and the others who wondered.... here are my 2 cents on the
    development of the English language (and I beg your pardon to start with).
    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, nor, as far as I know, French or Spanish. There are hypothesis
    as to why the English language has this tendency, but let's not get too
    technical (and it is late at night)
    2) In creating shorter words or, even worst, acronyms, people tend to
    forget what the abbreviation stands for. Even easy things like QC (or
    even better KC) are lost to most people. Working as a translator I can
    assure you that acronyms can make any text unintelligible, unless you
    are one of the chosen few who know what the letters stand for.
    3) Since the origin of the word is quickly lost, the acronym becomes a
    word in its own right and in doing so it will have to be spelled one way
    or another, hence "emcee". I'll try and think of similar transformations
    and keep u posted.
    Former acronyms could be: laser, sonar, ram and so on, but they are not
    as interesting since the spelling has not changed.
    Andrea (fae Dundee, but not an Englishe native speakereh)

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