But why, federal government? Why??

August 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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You miss a lot of news when you’re out of the country for five weeks, and one thing that I missed was the fact that the real name of the Cars for Clunkers program is:

CARS: Car Allowance Rebate System

Gah! Why must nearly all acronyms be contrived acronyms?

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Two Things:

February 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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1. Apparently, the contrived acronyms WILL NOT STOP. The latest offender comes from An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Fifth Edition) by Ronald Wardhaugh—how cool is my reading list, right? The acronym that Dell Hymes coined in 1974 to refer to his ethnographic model of the various factors involved in speaking is, wait for it…

S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G: Setting/Scene, Participants, Ends, Act sequence, Key, Instrumentalities, Norms of interaction and interpretation, Genre

That just may be the most contrived acronym I’ve come across yet.

2. I just watched last night’s episode of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” and I have just this to say: I am SO rooting for Ongina (go girl!); one of Ru  Paul’s best quotes this epi was, in regards to Jade’s botched tuck, “There’s still a lot of snakes on this motherfuckin’ PLANE!”; and that, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS DRESS, and it would make my LIFE if I could get my hands on it:

fiiiiiierce(This fringed brilliance extends, in layers, all the way to the floor. Yes.)

Ru Paul, you, girl, are a fashion icon for the ages.

[ screen shot from Logo online ]

More Acronym Shenanigans

February 2, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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By now it’s abundantly clear that I take issue with lame contrived acronyms. I spotted another one on a campus bulleitin board today, and while there’s little doubt that it was engineered to be clever, its cheekiness makes me sort of want to throw this one a bone. The culprit?

S.A.N.E: Students for a Non-Religious Ethos

Like I said: obviously contrived, but sassy enough to suit my tastes. Well played.

Annoying Acronyms, redux

February 1, 2009 at 10:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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(originally written January 25, 9:47 pm)

Many posts ago, I mentioned my distaste for contrived acronyms, such as Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation solar panel program known as FIRST. I just came across another painful example out of Berkeley’s Malcolm X Elementary School (you read that right). Their after-school program is titled, wait for it, Berkeley L.E.A.R.N.S! No word on what it stands for, but really, it doesn’t matter.

SARAH: Sarah, A Ranter And Hater

February 1, 2009 at 8:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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(originally written July 28, 1:01 am)

An article from the Berkeley Daily Planet last week reminded me of something I HATE in the world of initialisms: recursive acronyms. For some reason, this just bugs me to no end. Case in point:

HELiOS = Helios Energy Lights Our Schools

In this scenario, IS AN ACRONYM REALLY NECESSARY?!! Contrived acronyms are one thing—yeah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation solar panel financing program (which I totally support, btw) is acronymed as Berkeley F.I.R.S.T: Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technology—but to contrive something so unimaginatively that the only thing you can come up includes the acronym IN the acronym?? This is so meta it’s painful.

The More You Know

February 1, 2009 at 7:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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(originally written July 8, 4:26 pm)

A random factoid: for those of us who’ve taken even basic Spanish classes in school and learned that the Spanish word for the United States, Estados Unidos, is abbreviated EE.UU—did you know that the doubled letters indicate that the words referenced by the initials are plural? Neither did I, until I randomly read the Wikipedia article on initialisms yesterday. Turns out that some languages, though usually not English, deal with the issue of “how do we indicate that this acronym is plural and not singular” by doubling the letters that indicate each word. There is a little bit of this convention in English—as the article mentions, “p.” means “page” while “pp.” stands for “pages”—but for the most part, we get ourselves into ugly situations like choosing between DVD’s, D.V.D.’s, D.V.D.s, or DVDs. Personally, I prefer the last iteration (as well as the oxford comma!), but that’s just me.

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