another orphan

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Sep 10 13:17:37 UTC 2006

At 1:28 AM -0400 9/10/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
>And there are originally-local orphans, such as UCLA and SC.

Do these really count as orphans?  They do still unpack in the
original ways, after all.

>The use
>of "SC" instead of "USC" for the University of Southern California may
>be peculiar to BE.

 From my L.A. days, I'm pretty sure no such restriction exists.  "He
goes to SC", as I recall, was (and I assume still is, in L.A.) pretty
standard usage.  Note that this can only standard for the *University
of* Southern California; you never (I venture to guess) get "SC" to
refer to "southern California" tout court ("The Democrats held the
northern part of the state, but SC went Republican"--naaah).

>I almost cried when I discovered that the A&P was originally the
>"Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company."

Yes, I remember that feeling.  Well, history has had its revenge on them.


>On 9/9/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>Subject:      Re: another orphan
>>At 12:54 PM -0700 9/6/06, Karl Hagen wrote:
>>>Also note SAT (once "Scholastic Aptitude Test" then "Scholastic
>>>Assessment Test", now another empty initialism), which the makers are
>>>now calling the "SAT Reasoning Test" in full. That strikes me as being a
>>>bit like "El Alamein" or "the hoi polloi", in that the fossilized
>>>element is reduplicated.
>>another one I just noticed in news report:  BP (orphaned by British
>>>Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>>>>   ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>>   Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>>   Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>>>>   Subject:      Re: ex-acronyms
>>>>   On Sep 6, 2006, at 11:39 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>>>>   Further orphan initialisms: KFC, IHOP, ESPN, AARP.
>>>>>   The phenomenon is discussed here:
>>>>   my correspondent cited: AARP, FFA, AAA, AT&T, ACT, NARAL.
>>>>   arnold
>>>>   ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>   The American Dialect Society -
>>>The American Dialect Society -
>>The American Dialect Society -
>Everybody says, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange
>complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>--Sam Clemens
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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