linguist like to argue with (or criticize) non-linguists, too

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Jun 5 17:27:16 UTC 2002

> Considering some of the languages taught at Monterey, are you
> sure "DLIFLC" is not a pronounceable acronym?
>     /dih-lih-FILK/
> That sounds like something Mark Mandel would be singing.

>From my military and gummint contracting days, I never recalled anyone
referring to DLIFLC. It was always just DLI, pronounced dee-ell-eye.

> As for "DOD" or "DoD" - I have heard it as /dahd/ on occasion.

The only time I've ever heard it as /dahd/ is in use in reference to the DoD
school system (public schools for dependent children, not military training
like DLI). The schools were /dahds/ (spelled DODS); the department was
always dee-oh-dee.

> Agriculture is USDA, perhaps to distinguish it from "DA"
> (Department of the Army), but Agriculture was there first.
> At least it is not DOA.

It's not "DA" probably because of agricultural exports. Products marked with
"USDA" don't cause confusion with foreign bureaucracies.

> Energy is DOE, Education is ED, perhaps because "EdD" is
> generally /ed dahc/.

And the acronym "DED" conjures up unfortunate imagery, and "DoED" sounds
like something a skateboarder would say.

> State is rarely abbreviated, but when it is, it is USDS.  By

I don't recall ever seeing it abbreviated as USDS. DOS is the official
acronym that goes in the address line of reporting cables and messages and
in office symbols, but it is rarely used elsewhere. It is more commonly
referred to simply as "State." In the Pentagon we had other names for the
guys "across the river," but that's a story for another thread.

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