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Thread: The love to abbreviations (... and acronyms)

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    The love to abbreviations (... and acronyms)

    English speaking people use acronyms for everything:
    for chatting: BTW, AFAIK, ASAP, ROLF;
    for working: RSA, NQ, ISO, SAR, AMT;
    People even make acronyms from their names: JFK;

    All these acronyms turn my life crazy. The happy life of a non-native English speaker crashes at the acronyms wall. I am caused not only to study the English but also the huge amount of acronyms. As far as acronyms don't resemble words in the sense of etymology, learning acronyms becomes as boring as learning Chinese hieroglyphs. I would humble myself with this if there were a huge amount of Russian acronyms used everywhere and everyday, but there are NO. I can recall only few really Russian acronyms which are not the translation of the English ones. There is NO such a love to acronyms in Russia. So the question is: where the love to acronyms comes from in the English speaking countries?
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup
    So the question is: where the love to acronyms comes from in the English speaking countries?
    (I know another LONG answer.. but it is broken down into three parts, 1. History, 2. Why, and 3. Useful Web links, so you can skip to a section you want.)

    It has a nickname... "Alphabet Soup" and it is a mess.

    Part 1. History:

    Well, who to blame could be one of a couple of sources… (all from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronym_and_initialis)

    Bell Laboratories who in 1943, coined the term acronym as the name for a word (such as SONAR) created from the first letters of each word in a series of words (such as SOund Navigation And Ranging).

    Also around 1943, the U.S. army offense of being Absent Without Official Leave was abbreviated to "A.W.O.L." in reports, but when pronounced 'awol' became an acronym.
    But it can be traced back further than that…

    Early Christians in Rome used the image of a fish as a symbol for Jesus in part because of an acronym—fish in Greek is ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys), which was said to stand for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός Θεοῦ Υἱός Σωτήρ (Iesous CHristos THeou (h) Uios Soter: Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior). Evidence of this interpretation dates from the 2nd and 3rd centuries and is preserved in the catacombs of Rome. And for centuries, the Church has used the inscription INRI over the crucifix, which stands for the Latin Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum ("Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews").
    And even further...

    Initialisms were used in Rome dating back even earlier than the Christian era. For example, the official name for the Roman Empire, and the Republic before it, was abbreviated as SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus).
    Part 2. Why:
    CoffeeCup, I get just as lost as you. I went to a meeting at my girl's school and was totally lost once they started talking. I was the only parent there among the teachers and staff and I finally just had to raise my hand and say "Ummm, I am clueless here as to what you all are saying." The next time they had a cheat sheet for all their "little" terms.

    But to answer your question as to WHY do we use them now in everyday conversation? I think it comes from the fact that it is easier to just say:
    MSA - instead of Maryland State Assessments
    MAPR – instead of Measures of Academic Progress-Reading
    MCPS – instead of Montgomery County Public Schools
    RSA - instead of Restricted Stock Awards
    MVA - instead of Motor Vehicle Administration
    NSA - National Security Agency ( also know as.... No Such Agency )


    Now, as for the other ones on your list for chatting: BTW, AFAIK, ASAP, ROLF; it is a matter of being quick. Why type out As Far As I Know, when you can just do the letters? Especially if you are texting on your cell and you only have a limited number of characters in your text message. My girls are always texting things that I have NO clue what they mean and I have to Google them to understand!

    By the way, have you ever typed MR for Master Russian?

    Part 3. Web sites:
    Here are a couple of sites that might be usefull to you:
    http://www.sharpened.net/glossary/acronyms.php (this one is for texting and chatting and is REALLY nice because you can type in the acronym and have it come up with the meaning!!!)
    http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php
    http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/t...reviations.asp
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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Coffeecup, don't you see thousands of Russian acronyms in our everyday life?
    The Soviets were very fond of them
    КПСС, СССР, ВЛКСМ, ВЦСПС, ВЧК, ОГПУ, КГБ, ВКПб

    Modern ones:
    ГИБДД, НИИ, ФСБ, РФ, ВВП, МЧС, ТЭЦ, АЗС, ГРЭС, ВВЦ

    The longest I could find:
    НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ

    And every profession is abundant with more specialized acronyms.

    You don't have to memorize them all. In any given context the meaning wouldn't be hard to deduce.
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Coffeecup, don't you see thousands of Russian acronyms in our everyday life?
    The Soviets were very fond of them
    КПСС, СССР, ВЛКСМ, ВЦСПС, ВЧК, ОГПУ, КГБ, ВКПб

    Modern ones:
    ГИБДД, НИИ, ФСБ, РФ, ВВП, МЧС, ТЭЦ, АЗС, ГРЭС, ВВЦ

    The longest I could find:
    НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ
    Ramil! You're not honestly NOT going to tell us what these mean??? (double negative, I know) Can you be so cruel??? Especially, НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ
    (BTW, I do know CCCP )
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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Sure you know of KGB )))

    НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ
    Научно-исследовательская лаборатория операций по армированию бетона и железобетонных работ по сооружению сборно-монолитных и монолитных конструкций отдела технологии строительно-монтажного управления Академии строительства и архитектуры СССР

    Source: http://www.sokr.ru

    КПСС = Коммунистическая Партия Советского Союза
    ВЛКСМ = Всесоюзный Ленинский Коммунистический Союз Молодежи
    ВЦСПС = Всесоюзный Центральный Совет Профессиональных Союзов
    ВЧК = Всероссийская Чрезвычайная Комиссия
    ОГПУ = Объединённое Государственное Политическое Управление
    ВКПб = Всероссийская Коммунистическая Партия (большевиков)

    ГИБДД = Государственная Инспекция Безопасности Дорожного Движения
    НИИ = Научно-Исследовательский Институт
    ФСБ = Федеральная Служба Безопасности
    РФ = Российская Федерация
    ВВП = Валовый Внутренний Продукт (или Владимир Владимирович Путин)
    МЧС = Министерство по Чрезвычайным Ситуациям
    ТЭЦ = Теплоэнергоцентраль
    АЗС = Автомобильная Заправочная Станция
    ГРЭС = Государственная Районная Электрическая Станция
    ВВЦ = Всероссийский Выставочный Центр
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Sure you know of KGB )))
    Yes, as I have both NSA and KGB coffee mugs in my china cabinet

    Dude...would it have KILLED you to put the English translation?


    I do like your little editorial comment on this one:
    ВВП = Валовый Внутренний Продукт (или Владимир Владимирович Путин)
    GDP = Gross Domestic Product (or Vladimir Putin)

    On this one.. can you make a recording of how to actually pronounce this?
    НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ

    It looks like the one E-learner gave me the other day "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup
    English speaking people use acronyms for everything:
    for chatting: BTW, AFAIK, ASAP, ROLF; (used only on the internet;makes life easier)
    for working: RSA, NQ, ISO, SAR, AMT; (never heard of any of these)
    People even make acronyms from their names: JFK; (used w/ very few individuals)
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Подающий надежды оратор
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    At least we know how Chinese people back then might have invented their hieroglyphs
    Now they have some 80,000 of them, and I wonder just how far we can go with the use of abbreviations

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    Re: The love to acronyms

    I should have done that from the beginning

    God knows, I tried about НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ
    Научно-исследовательская лаборатория операций по армированию бетона и железобетонных работ по сооружению сборно-монолитных и монолитных конструкций отдела технологии строительно-монтажного управления Академии строительства и архитектуры СССР

    Science and research laboratory of operations concerning arming of concrete and concrete works on construction of the monolithic and assembly-monolithic constructions of the department of technology of the construction and assembly directorate of Academy of Construction and Architecture of USSR.

    Here are the rest:
    КПСС = Communist Party of the Soviet Union
    ВЛКСМ = All-Union Leninist Young Communist League
    ВЦСПС = All-Union Central Council of Trade-Unions
    ВЧК = All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, Speculation, and Sabotage
    ОГПУ = Unified State Political Department
    ВКПб = the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (former name of KPSU)

    ГИБДД = State Traffic Safety Inspectorate (Traffic police)
    НИИ = Institute for Scientific Research
    ФСБ = Federal Security Service (former KGB)
    РФ = Russian Federation
    ВВП = Gross Domestic Product (or Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin since ВВП = VVP)
    МЧС = Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergency Situations and the Rectification of the Consequences of Natural Disasters
    ТЭЦ = Central Heating and Power Plant
    АЗС = Gas Station
    ГРЭС = State District Power Plant
    ВВЦ = All-Russia Exhibition Center
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    And also, not to forget the borrowed acronyms such as:

    НХЛ = NHL
    НБА = NBA
    НАСА = NASA
    ВТО = WTO
    ФИФА = FIFA

    etc.

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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    for working: RSA, NQ, ISO, SAR, AMT; (never heard of any of these)
    These came from another thread and they are financial terms to do with stock that is usually given to employees (mainly the higher level ones; but, sometimes all employess can get stock.. say with a start-up company), board of directors and investors of companies ... so it is my fault.. I used to eat, sleep, breath this stuff...sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by RSA - Restricted Stock Award
    A grant of company stock in which the recipient's rights in the stock are restricted until the shares vest (or lapse in restrictions). The restricted period is called a vesting period. Once the vesting requirements are met, an employee owns the shares outright and may treat them as she would any other share of stock in her account.
    Quote Originally Posted by NQ - Non-Qualified Stock Option (see it was shorted from NQSO or NSO)
    A type of employee stock option where you pay ordinary income tax on the difference between the grant price and the price at which you exercise the option

    Quote Originally Posted by ISO - Incentive Stock Option
    A type of employee stock option with a tax benefit, when you exercise, of not having to pay ordinary income tax. Instead, the options are taxed at a capital gains rate.
    Quote Originally Posted by SAR - Stock Appreciation Right
    A right, usually granted to an employee, to receive a bonus equal to the appreciation in the company's stock over a specified period. Like employee stock options, SARs benefit the holder with an increase in stock price; the difference is that the employee is not required to pay the exercise price (as with an employee stock option), but rather just receives the amount of the increase in cash or stock.
    Quote Originally Posted by AMT - Alternative Minimum Tax
    AMT rules force you to pay taxes on the "spread" between the market price and the exercise price of incentive stock options granted by your employer. For example, if you exercised an option to buy 100 shares of stock for $3 a share and the stock was trading at $10, the spread would be $7 a share, or $700. Under the regular rules, you wouldn't pay current taxes on that amount, but under the AMT, it's considered income. AND THIS BITES!
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ
    Научно-исследовательская лаборатория операций по армированию бетона и железобетонных работ по сооружению сборно-монолитных и монолитных конструкций отдела технологии строительно-монтажного управления Академии строительства и архитектуры СССР
    Что-то не очень сходится. На 90% уверен, что начало должно быть таким: Научно-Исследовательский Институт Общего Машиностроения Т.... П..... Лаборатория Операций и т.д.

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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    НИИОМТПЛАБОПАРМБЕТЖЕЛБЕТРАБСБОРМОНИМОНКОНОТДТЕХСТРОМОНТ
    Научно-исследовательская лаборатория операций по армированию бетона и железобетонных работ по сооружению сборно-монолитных и монолитных конструкций отдела технологии строительно-монтажного управления Академии строительства и архитектуры СССР
    Что-то не очень сходится. На 90% уверен, что начало должно быть таким: Научно-Исследовательский Институт Общего Машиностроения Т.... П..... Лаборатория Операций и т.д.
    I gave the reference: http://www.sokr.ru. This example was taken from there.

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    ОМТП - ХЗ
    ЛАБ(О) - лаборатория
    П - по
    АРМ - армирование
    БЕТ - бетон
    ЖЕЛБЕТ - железобетон
    РАБ - работы
    СБОРМОН - сборно-мололитный
    И - и
    МОНКОН - монолитные конструкции
    ОТД - отдел
    ТЕХ - технологии
    СТРОМОНТ - строительно-мотнажный
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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by Капитан
    At least we know how Chinese people back then might have invented their hieroglyphs
    Now they have some 80,000 of them, and I wonder just how far we can go with the use of abbreviations
    As is known, the Chinese have the biggest population today and they increase their population as fast as someone types acronyms with a mobile phone keypad. Sooner or later all of us will be surrounded by the Chinese. So, those who succeeded in acronyms will have the benefit for the assimilation.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Did Ramil become an anarchist?
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Definition: Acronym is an abbreviation, which is pronounced as one word (not spelled).

    According to this USA and USSR are not acronyms while LASER and SONAR are.

    ВЛКСМ - not, Комсомол - yes.

    If the history of acronyms started in English in 1943 it is definitely borrowed from Russian (there was a burst of acronyms in Russian after Soviet Revolution in 1917, acronyms were used even as personal names - Kim, Vilen...). Or, maybe, from German (as I understand, syllable acronyms are very natural in German).

    As for "rhetorical" abbreviations (i.e. IMHO, AFAIK etc. ), IMHO they really make life easier.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Definition: Acronym is an abbreviation, which is pronounced as one word (not spelled).

    According to this USA and USSR are not acronyms while LASER and SONAR are.
    Excellent point!!!
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by capecoddah
    Did Ramil become an anarchist?
    I was born anarchist.
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    Re: The love to acronyms

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Definition: Acronym is an abbreviation, which is pronounced as one word (not spelled).

    According to this USA and USSR are not acronyms while LASER and SONAR are.
    Excellent point!!!
    Whatever.
    Everyone understands what we are talking about.
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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Re: The love to abbreviations (... and acronyms)

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    Definition: Acronym is an abbreviation, which is pronounced as one word (not spelled).
    According to this USA and USSR are not acronyms while LASER and SONAR are.
    That's right, "abbreviation" is the thing we were really talked about.

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    IMHO they really make life easier.
    The question is not stated as to use or not to use the abbreviations. If we focus on the Internet chatting: The question is why these abbreviations emerge in English as water drops while it rains and do not emerge in Russian (there are only few which are not the translations from English, while Russians really use Internet for chatting in Russian). By the way, what about other languages: French, German, ... .
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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