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Should Schools teach Acronyms?
Old 01-01-2015, 09:00 AM   #1
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Should Schools teach Acronyms?

The Third Webster Standard Dictionary contains about 500,000 entries. The Acronym Finder
Abbreviations and acronyms dictionary
contains 5 million acronyms and abbreviations.

As a texting impaired senior, I am increasingly lost in what I read, after thinking myself to be reasonably well educated and at least average in literacy.

In reading a current on-line news article, I came across a paragraph that mentioned VOD several times. Without understanding what "VOD" meant, the article made no sense.

And so, an old person's rant and a question. Has the english language evolved to a point where the economies of correspondence and indeed conversation dictate a new course of study?

When intrapersonal relationships require a common language which has 25 times the number of "words" to carry on mutually comprehensible conversation... can this be good? When the media acquiesce to this change, are we improving the state of knowledge and understanding?

What of young people? Not just the nominal BFF or AFAIK or LOL... but the acronyms that we, as adults, have learned to incorporate in our normal day to day interactions... SS or SWR, DW, YMMV ... common language to ER (sic), but possibly alien to others.

For us, a matter of incremental, one at a time learning experience, but for young people, faced with trying to learn from the MSM somewhat more difficult, or, even worse, causing misinterpretation, misunderstanding, or worse, fostering longer term ignorance.
.................................
On the first visits to ER, I misinterpreted DW to mean Damned Wife, Dumb Woman and Divorced Wife... based on the context or the first posts that I was reading.
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So, even today, I find myself regularly using a task bar link to an acronym search to help me understand what I am reading. I seriously doubt that everyone does the same, so that when a story about international relations references the actions of the ACIFFA, the reader has absolutely no idea what that means, and just adds to the growing numbers of citizens who vote, but don't know what they are voting for.

To help, "Should Schools teach Acronyms?"
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:25 AM   #2
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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While working, this was a pet peeve. We would commonly receive e-mails touting some wonderful new program. The e-mail would use the full name exactly once and the acronym thereafter, as if this shortened version had come into use naturally because the longer term was used so often.

Since retiring however, I regard them as a kind of mini-challenge. I try to see if I can figure them out from the context (VOD probably = Video On Demand).

Any class would end up being some long boring listing or else some in-depth examination of something that doesn't really deserve its own acronym.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:54 AM   #4
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There is no need to teach acronyms, only how to find out what they mean. Google will do.
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Old 01-01-2015, 11:56 AM   #5
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:34 PM   #6
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They change depending on the subject matter. We got shot down by the marketing folks but the development team wanted to name a new software product "DOA".

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Old 01-01-2015, 12:46 PM   #7
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They change depending on the subject matter. We got shot down by the marketing folks but the development team wanted to name a new software product "DOA".
That's why I was so bemused at Fidelity calling their software the Retirement Income Planner.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:58 PM   #8
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When I was at NASA, I was told you know you've been fully immersed in the program when you can have conversations using only verbs, adverbs and acronyms and don't think its strange.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:23 PM   #9
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That's why I was so bemused at Fidelity calling their software the Retirement Income Planner.
Yes not sure how they got that one through the marketing "So I use RIP until I RIP".

Actually my last couple of years in IT they started reusing TLA's from older technology. You learned it one way, now your reading about its use. At the same time wondering why the author was talking about this great new technology that you dismissed 20 years ago. Wasn't the same technology.

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Old 01-02-2015, 06:58 AM   #10
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People pick up acronyms and slang in the areas they are interested in. It is easy to Google terms that are new. You, of course, as a polymath and research guru already know that.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:20 AM   #11
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Those young folk use acronyms people >30 don't know yet and probably stop using as soon as they do.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...."Should Schools teach Acronyms?"
As I recall, they do. And why not? Acronyms are just convenient shorthand for words, titles or phrases.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:16 AM   #13
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
There is no need to teach acronyms, only how to find out what they mean. Google will do.
One thing I really like about reading books with Kindle is that I can tap and look up words and acronyms I don't know as needed. Kindle also now shows a Wikipedia article if appropriate. This if often fascinating.

The Mac also does this for any selected text when you right-click and select Look Up - works great in Safari:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg junk_vod.jpg (32.1 KB, 65 views)
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:30 PM   #15
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ICYMI
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/st...ymi-world.html
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:10 PM   #16
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In the early '80's our parts aftersales system was called automated inventory distribution system- AIDS. I don't know how much it cost to switch the name.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:27 PM   #17
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Back in the early 1980's I did some work at Sylvania Lighting and they had a billing system that they called BETS. One day I asked what BETS stood for and was told it was the Bill-Every-Thing-System. I guess it was better to bill everything than not bill some sales. I'm not sure if they were pulling my leg or not.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:30 PM   #18
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No

I enjoyed my acronym free schooling.

I just had to start learning acronyms when I went to work.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:38 PM   #19
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I always thought this site was funny. Texting Abbreviations for Seniors

As Read: Texting Abbreviations for the Elderly | Car Talk
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:02 AM   #20
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I'm sorry, but writing something, anything, with goofy shorthand like " u r" on anything but an old flip phone is a feeble attempt to appear "cool"...

Having been imprisoned in "high tech" for 30+ years, TLAs and FLAs were/are a way of life, one destined for a distant, unpleasant memory about 8/31...

Being a SA, I used to re-label material that was super-hot when requested, but then sat on a shelf for a month with no apparent action afterward, as S.H.I.T. - super highly important test...


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