Acronyms (was: Phat(t), etc)

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jun 4 00:06:12 UTC 2004

On the subject now of acronyms, technical or not, which have entered the
language, there's what looks like a very interesting site at

- you put in an acronym you want to know the definition of and it will
supposedly find it for you.

The question of 'non-technical' acronyms prompts two further ones:

- very many acronyms are now most often used, I'd say, in IM'ing.  Does that
count as technical or not?  The method certainly means that such acronyms have
come about because of technology and the need to communicate faster using a
text medium, but the majority of the messages conveyed using said acronyms are
probably not technical at all.

- does it only count if you would pronounce the acronym as a single 'word', eg
*Fucked/Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition* = <FUBAR> = 'foobar', or do things
like 'FWIW' count too?

Anyway, by Googling ACRONYM FUBAR I found what looks like a long list of
websites with lists of acronyms like this on them.  That seems to be the
easiest way to see how many of them there apparently are!

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

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