linguist like to argue with (or criticize) non-linguists, too
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jun 5 16:57:53 UTC 2002
In a message dated Wed, 5 Jun 2002 12:23:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Drew Danielson <andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU> writes:
<deletions in the following>
>"Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC)
> Presidio of Monterey (POM)
> Department of Defense (DoD)".
>Of course, I knew that these
>are all initialisms and not acronyms.
Considering some of the languages taught at Monterey, are you sure "DLIFLC" is not a pronounceable acronym?
That sounds like something Mark Mandel would be singing.
"POM" is not an acronym that I know of, although there is "MOP" ("Ministry of Propaganda"). In World War II it had two other meanings:
"POMM" (not sure of the spelling) - a brand of powdered potatoes
"pom-pom" (onomatopeic, I am told, not the thing cheerleaders use) - either a 20-mm or a 40-mm antiaircraft battery on board a ship. These two war-winning weapons were developed in neutral countries, the 20-mm by Oerlikon of Switzerland and the 40-mm by Bofors of Sweden.
As for "DOD" or "DoD" - I have heard it as /dahd/ on occasion.
>From a long-forgotten mailing list, re Cabinet departments:
"DOD", "DOT", and "DOJ" use the initial of the word "of". Why? "DD" is a destroyer (naval vessel) or Doctor of Divinity. "DJ" is a disk jockey so it is best avoided. "JD" (it is more commonly called "Justice Department" than "Department of Justice") is more appropriate, being both "juvenile delinquent" and "Juris Doctor". DOT does not seem to mind being a girl's nickname, although people don't seem to call it /daht/ very often. However, Pennsylvania DOT is universally /pen-daht/. At least it is not "DT".
Agriculture is USDA, perhaps to distinguish it from "DA" (Department of the Army), but Agriculture was there first. At least it is not DOA.
Energy is DOE, Education is ED, perhaps because "EdD" is generally /ed dahc/.
State is rarely abbreviated, but when it is, it is USDS. By the way, State is not in Foggy Bottom but rather on the bluff overlooking Foggy Bottom, which is the sometimes-fogged-in flood plain along the Potomac from the Lincoln Memorial to the mouth of Rock Creek. What's in the for-real Foggy Bottom? Why, the Watergate, of course. Also, the kid's playground a block from State is Soggy Bottoms.
- Jim Landau
If furniture could speak, Barry Popik's dining room would have the most polyglot table in New York.
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