Monday, October 21, 2013

How Much Do People Love Acronyms (HMDPLA)?

I work for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), which -- like any bureacracy -- loves to use acronyms. In the United States (US) Government, the use of initials is similarly commonplace. Think NASA, DoJ, and USMC.

I often make fun of the DOE and the governement, but most other areas of our lives are teeming with acronyms as well. I woke up this A.M. and turned on the TV at the same time that I fired up my PC. Speaking of PC, I flipped the channel to the Today Show on NBC and was bombarded with several politically correct stories.

I rode an MTA train to work and read Sports Illustrated (SI) on the way. After arriving at school, I had to fill out an OP-175 form, so that the DOE's HR Department can help the IRS can keep track of my earnings.

Acronyms permeate our lives, often defining who we are to others. Do you have photo ID? Did you vote for the GOP candidate?  Have you ever had a DUI?  

Even the least tedious aspects of our lives contain their fair share of acronyms. I love sports, but I can't watch a game without being bombarded with stats like FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, baseball), PER (Player Efficiency Rating, basketball), and GAA (Goals Against Average, hockey).

I love beer, too. My favorite kind? IPA.

And, BTW, we could talk all day about Twitter acronyms.
Fortunately, there are some individuals who hate shortening phrases into acronyms. The Anti-Acronym Association of America* says, "Acronyms are not real words. They have no meaning in their own right and are simply a symptom of the laziness that has overcome us as a society." Despite the group's noble goal, though, it shortens its name to the AAAA.

*I don't think that's a real organization, but there are some people who seriously want to eliminate acronyms.

The ubiquitous nature of acronyms makes it difficult to imagine a world without them. Even some of our common words, like radar and scuba, began their lives as acronyms. It sometimes makes life seem dull, like everything's about as fun as filling out a TPS Report.


Love that video -- LOL.

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