For three years in a row my daughter was a definite contender for the class general knowledge prize and she was quite confident of winning it for the fourth time. But sadly to her dismay and mine, she lost by the wrong answer to the question : What does WWF stand for? Much to her bad luck it wasn’t the conventional World Wildlife Fund vut World Wrestling Federation which was the rage of the boys in school that year.
Acronyms or abbreviations made out of the initials of the words making up a name are increasingly being used with very little concern about whether or not people understand them. Of course they are used by people who are familiar with the jargon for instance DNR would mean Do Not Resuscitate which any rookie doctor or paramedic would understand. But it is annoying to say the least when a doctor scribbles NBM ( nil by mouth) on your pre-surgery instructions expecting you to understand that he means you to eat nothing before coming in for the surgery.
Somehow acronyms have become par for the course and newspapers are happily peppered with headlines like this one : OHE wire snap disrupts CR’s Main line. This translates into Over Head Wire snaps and disrupts Central Railway’s Main line. And of course we have all the banks, corporate offices and government departments being referred to as HDFC, BOI, MEA, ONGC, GAIL, VSNL,BEST and so on and so forth.
But what is really irritating when people are referred to by their initials and you are told to go to ABC (Aditya Bhushan Chavan) who is the DDM (Deputy Manager) , HR ( Human Resources) and ask for CL (casual leave). This is particularly the case in organisations when HODs ( Heads of Department) or certain key people are alphabetised rather than being referred to as Sethi Sir or Preeti Ma’am.
How often we are asked to provide PINs and PANs while doing monetary transactions! An online transaction can be most irritating with information pertaining to these and other questions like providing a CCV and the ZIP or PIN of our mailing address. While speaking to a recorded message we are often asked to rate the IVR by pressing different numbers on the dial pad.
And enough has been said of acronyms used in everyday language on internet chat. This is an all new ballgame that gets more complicated because of the everyday idiom that is peculiar to a particular culture or country. Indeed I can go on and on with examples of irritating acronyms but I’ve got lots to catch up on so I’ll TTYL. ( Talk to you later)