Friday, February 18, 2011

In Which I Make A List

I work for a pretty big company. I know the company is big not because of the number of employees or locations we have, but by the number of acronyms we use. Last week I set it upon myself to compile a list of as many of these acronyms as I could think of, and after a few days of working half-assed on it, I came up with 34.

Here's the list, alphabetically:
  • AHT
  • AML
  • AOS
  • ASM
  • ATM
  • AVP
  • BSA
  • CCD
  • CCS
  • CSI
  • CSR
  • CSS
  • CTR
  • CWI
  • DCI
  • DCO
  • DDA
  • DIP
  • EIN
  • EFT
  • FSR
  • LOC
  • NCR
  • NRA
  • NSF
  • ODP
  • RMM
  • ROO
  • RSS
  • SAA
  • TCD
  • TIN
  • TCR
  • WOC
That's even with leaving a few of the obvious ones out. Thirty-four. The crazy thing is that I use pretty much all of these in the day-to-day goings on in my job, and I don't know how I can keep them all straight. Seeing them all in a list like that is kind of dizzying. I have the habit of referring to departments or forms by their abbreviated name right off the bat that when I encounter someone who doesn't recognize it, saying the long version of it seems almost archaic. Fortunately, though, I don't have to worry about TPS reports. 

Large companies love their acronyms. I've worked for a number of nation-wide businesses in the past, and they all had their own crop of them. The list for my current job sticks to the three-letter acronyms, but if I were to include two-letter or four-plus-letter acronyms, the list would probably triple in size. You'd think there would be some corporate dictionary to help the less familiar decipher them all, but that'd be way too easy. 

They serve a purpose, but it seems like there is a new one to remember every other week. To help pass the time, my cubicle neighbor (a good friend who somehow survives on a diet of candy and pretzels from the food court) and I will try to come up with alternate meanings to some of the acronyms. 

I'd share some of them with you, but they're NSFW.

Have a good weekend, everyone.


Bama Cheryl said...

You're right - every company has its share of TLAs - three letter acronyms. Fun!

Natalie said...

You missed TSM and NFF. =)

Employee No. 3699 said...

I think you missed one...WTF!

Kev D. said...

Sounds like you might work in software like I do. I worked for a very big enterprise application company at one point, and the number of acronyms was INSANE.

I hate when then try and pronounce them, like WSDL becomes WHIZ-DULL.


Didactic Pirate said...

You must hate the alphabet.

Kelly said...

I use most all of those same acronyms on a daily basis, too.

Some days, it makes me want to bang my head on my desk. Miss one letter, when typing an IM, or an email, and you can be talking about something totally different in an instant.

Mrs. Sasquatch said...

OK, even though this will expose me as a complete nerd (which is 100% correct), and possibly paint me as a killjoy (which is not 100% accurate), I gotta say it: yours is actually a list of pseudo-acronyms, not acronyms. Acronyms are actual words that are formed from the letters of an abbreviation (i.e. "scuba" stands for "Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus"). Sorry, sometimes my inner Grammar Gestapo rears its ugly and unpopular head!

That being said, your list is frighteningly long...much like a list of "business phrases" like "best practices" would be.

Dave said...

Ah, I know some of those well.

The one's my team uses are PEBCAK and ID10T errors...not to mention the obvious ones of FUBAR and SNAFU...

kristina said...

Only 34? I lost count when my list reached over 200 for the company I work for... one thing that causes the list to be so long is that we've adopted the "initialisms" from other companies we do business with. Another reason is that it is easier for us to use abbreviations for programming in our sytem, and then they spill out into everyday use... gak!!

Chuck said...

That is a hell of a list...I too was going to say you missed WTF but now that's just old news.

Badass Geek said...

Bama Cheryl: Good one!

Natalie: Gah!

Employee No. 3699: Bazinga.

Kev D: Yeah, we pronounce ROO all the time.

Didactic Pirate: Hate is a strong word. I'm just prejudiced against a few.

Kelly: Absolutely.

Mrs. Sasquatch: Point taken.

Dave: Yeah, those are classics.

Kristina: It makes it easier sometimes, but when you stop and realize how many there are...

Chuck: It's still a good one.

The Lissst! said...


Mik said...

Our company got taken over by a big pharma company and one of the first things they did was send a big list of all the official acronyms they use.

You almost need the list at all company meetings to understand what they are talking about.

L said...

Pshaw. That's nothing. I work for a government contractor, and have been trying not to drown in the sea of Army and other military acronyms ever since. I've never tried to count them all because it would make my head swim. You'd think it would make things more efficient, but it actually just confuses everything...

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Melissa said...

My company's list is so large that we have an entire webpage dedicated to it so we know WTF someone is talking about in their e-mails. HUNDREDS! Maybe thousands.

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