Friday, June 24, 2005

FYI

The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, not the Downing Street memo. Responsible users of abbreviations will recall a similar situation from earlier in the Iraq mess, namely that CPA is a certified public accountant, not a Coalition Provisional Authority.

D.C. bonus: AA is an organization for drunks, not a county in Maryland. (And I meant District of Columbia, not DaimlerChrysler.)

13 comments:

Aaron said...

Here's a forehead-smacker for ya:
I'm editing some stuff this week for the University of Toyota. In order to access an online Lexus survey of some sort, certain lucky employees must use the "portal at ToyotaVision.com, or 'TV' for short."

Nicole said...

Perhaps the DSM should change its name to the DSMMD and give DSM to the memo.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

The Lansing School District uses the acronym LSD. Lately, they've tried to distance themselves (perhaps as, in typical bureaucratic fashion, a response to Woodstock '69) by removing LSD from business card and the like, but emails still are "@lsd..." It gets snickers.

Peter Fisk said...

Over the years, I've seen some curious headlines in The Boston Globe on stories about the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Bill said...

And then there's the Standards of Learning test in Virginia schools. SOL, we say with a straight face.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

SOL?! Come on...
At least LSD was around before the drug, so I see them as innnocent acronym victim. But you can't tell me people didn't say "SOL" when the SOL people came up with their test. Crazy, crazy people...

MrVilhauer said...

I took a trip to Ireland recently and was confused as to who the hell Ira was. His name was everywhere!

Bill said...

I don't like to perpetuate stereotypes about My People, but in this case it's true: The Irish love their individual retirement accounts.

Peter Fisk said...

I reckon few people in Ireland have as much money in their IRAs as that prolific Irish inventor Pat Pending.

DMoore said...

Last time I checked, abbreviations fell into two categories: acronyms and initialisms. LSD is an initialism. You may just as well call it an abbreviation, of course, but an acronym it is not.

Peter Fisk said...

"It's a hold-up, not a botany lesson."

(Sorry. Too much Earl Grey tonight.)

Rob Rogers said...

DMoore said...

Last time I checked, abbreviations fell into two categories: acronyms and initialisms. LSD is an initialism. You may just as well call it an abbreviation, of course, but an acronym it is not.

I'm scratching my head over this one. I'm not sure I follow just what hair your splitting. My Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary says that an initialism is "an acronym formed from initial letters" and that an acronym is "a word formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term."

So LSD (from lysergic acid dethylamide is an acronym, but not an initialism. Or am I missing something here?

Bill said...

The distinction is that an acronym is pronounced as a word. So LSD would be an acronym if you said "luhssd," not "el-es-dee."