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Feb 17 2006

Redundant Acronyms and Initialisms


Do you use any of these phrases? If you do, please stop, it's annoying.

A.M. in the Morning
ABS System
AC Current
Annual APR
ATM Machine
CAD Design
Certified CNA
CNN News Network
CTT Training
DAT Tape
DC Comics
DC Current
DMZ Zone
DOS Operating System
DVD Disk
EIN Number
EMS Service
Estimated ETA
GIN in Nature
GMT Time
GOP Party
GRE Exam
GPS System
GUI Interface
HIV Virus
HOV Vehicle
HTML Language
IMC Conditions
IRA Account
ISBN Number
ISDN Network
ISP Provider
Jeb Bush
LCD Display
LED Diode
NIC Card
PC Computer
PIN Number
Please RSVP
PTO Time
RAM Memory
SAM Missile
SAT Test
SCSI Interface
SIC Code
UHF Frequency
UPC Code
VHF Frequency
VIN Number
WAAS System

If not already obvious, click "continue reading" to find out why you should not use these acronyms and initialisms this way.

Ante Meridiem (before noon) in the Morning
Antilock Braking System System
Alternating Current Current
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line Line
Annual Annual Percentage Rate
Automated Teller Machine Machine
Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code Code
Computer-Aided Design Design
Certified Certified Nursing Assistant
Cable News Network News Network
Common Task Training Training
Digital Audio Tape Tape
Detective Comics Comics
Direct Current Current
Demilitarized Zone Zone
Disk Operating System Operating System
Digital Video Disk Disk
Employee Identification Number Number
Emergency Medical Service Service
Estimated Estimated Time of Arrival
Government in Nature in Nature
Greenwich Mean Time Time
Grand Old Party Party
Graduate Record Examination Examination
Global Positioning System System
Graphical User Interface Interface
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Virus
High Occupancy Vehicle Vehicle
Hypertext Markup Language Language
Instrument Meteorological Conditions
Individual Retirement Account Account
International Standard Book Number Number
Integrated Services Digital Network Network
Internet Service Provider Provider
John Ellis Bush Bush
Liquid Crystal Display Display
Light Emitting Diode Diode
Network Interface Card Card
Personal Computer Computer
Personal Identification Number Number
Please Repondez S'il Vous Plait (Please Respond If You Please)
Personal Time Off Time
Random-Access Memory Memory
Surface-to-Air Missile Missile
Scholastic Aptitude (Assessment) Test Test
Small Computer System Interface Interface
Standard Industrial Code Code
Ultra High Frequency Frequency
Universal Product Code Code
Very High Frequency Frequency
Vehicle Identification Number Number
Wide Area Augmentation System System

Posted by Don |


  1. You really do have a great blog. I've spent quite a bit of time reading through several of yours and you really have some good stuff. Keep up the good work.


  2. Good list, except I don't think "DC Comics" and "Jeb Bush" belong in this class. Not all repetition is redundant. "New York, NY" is one obvious example; the "NY" stands for "New York," but it refers to the state.

    "DC Comics" is another. The mere fact that the 'C' stands for 'Comics' does not make the phrase "DC Comics" redundant, since it means something very different from "Detective Comics," which is a title published by DC Comics.

    And "Jeb" is a nickname. The mere fact that it was derived from the man's initials doesn't make "Jeb Bush" a redundant phrase.

  3. #3
    Don said on February 23, 2006 | Reply

    I'll give you that Jeb Bush being on the list is lame. But, Detective Comics comics has bugged me for years.

  4. #4
    Jan said on February 25, 2006 | Reply

    This is on the edge of your guidelines, but I'd like to ad 'Internet Blogs'.

    Please RSVP is, for me, the worst.

  5. #5
    Tom Jacobs said on March 28, 2006 | Reply

    How about "Nape of the neck." This means
    "Back of the neck of the neck."

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