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Amusing techie story - One person's lack of compassion does not equal another's comfort.
One person's lack of comprehension does not equal another's consent.
fixx
fixx
Amusing techie story
I just wrote a fairly long reply in a friend's journal regarding the hazards of pronouncing acronyms as words. Embarrassing as lengthy stories can be in the journals of others, I realized that it might give my friends a lift if I posted it in my own journal so here goes.

Subject: Pronouncing Acronyms can be *dangerous*

Take "IEEE" for example. Do you answer it or call the police? Sure most people pronounce it "Eye-Triple-E" but to someone who has only ever read it in print it can seem quite different, and who wants to actually *say* "Eye EeE EeE EeE"?

Not so long ago I was arranging to build a custom computer system for a self-employed client. While attempting to size up the customer's needs I inquired into whether or not they wanted a "SCSI" port (pronounced 'scuzzy'), they declined, but later it was discovered they also wanted the best quality tape backup drive they could get (at the time as is now the case that generally means a SCSI interface). After a few rounds of frustration I finally discovered they took "scuzzy" to mean inferior.

I'll never forget the first time I was at a computer show and one of the customers was inquiring into something about "the Cosmos". The look on the sellers face, I tell you. I think he was looking around for Carl Sagan. (for those reading who can't guess, he meant CMOS, the part of the motherboard that stores the setup of the computer when the computer is turned off.)

At that same computer show I shared that story with one of the techs at one of my then favorite computer surplus co's and they told me about a foreigner who kept insisting they sell him "Energy Cables" (power cords) Personally, I thought that was kind of cute. And personally, I think that BIOS is very easy to pronounce and I honestly don't know what those letters actually stand for, I simply know what it does.

In none of the examples I've just given does the actual spelling of the acronym actually spell an actual pre-existing word. "I.T." certainly does. I mean if electronic repairmen in the habit of making house-calls were suddenly referred to as "Personal Electronic Technicians", ("P.E.T."s), who could blame people for saying things like, "Darn, the behemoth 32inch combined TV VCR broke down again, time to call my PET." Honestly, who could really blame them?

So, if you ask me, the IT industry brought this on themselves. If they couldn't see this coming well they should have consulted a P.U.N. expert such as myself. :-)

P.S. (no not P.O.S.)
Why don't people just say "Triple Double You Dot Amazon Dot Com"? Hmmm? It sounds a LOT more intelligent than "Double You Double You Double You Dot(etc). Personally when I pronounce addresses I pronounce only one of the "W"s and if the person can't figure that out, they are probably "T.S.T.O."
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Comments
dcseain From: dcseain Date: March 26th, 2005 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)
inquiring into something about "the Cosmos". The look on the sellers face, I tell you. I think he was looking around for Carl Sagan. (for those reading who can't guess, he meant CMOS, the part of the motherboard that stores the setup of the computer when the computer is turned off.)

I always have known CMOS to be pronounced as "see moss".

I think that BIOS is very easy to pronounce and I honestly don't know what those letters actually stand for, I simply know what it does.

Basic Input Output System. I'm surprised you were unaware.
fixx From: fixx Date: March 26th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
"see moss".

Oh yes, I meant to mention that for those who were not familiar. Personally I think that CMOS does not adequately *spell* "see moss" to make some guy calling it "the cosmos" that much more wrong, and when you stop to think of it, which paints a more colorfull image, the cosmos or some moss?

Basic Input Output System. I'm surprised you were unaware.

Now that you mention it, I think that I heard it once, thought about it, decided it cannot be right, but that I really didn't care and sort of left it at that. The way I saw it, unless new variants of it cropped up there would be no need to know what it meant, and so it essentially constituted trivia, and I've never been a trivia buff.
vvalkyri From: vvalkyri Date: March 26th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
i've heard 'dub dub dub dot amazon dot com' or just usually 'amazon dot com'

I rather enjoyed the slogan of Keane:
Keane - We get IT done.
dcseain From: dcseain Date: March 26th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
i've also heard 'dubya 3 dot amazon dot com', or, as you, more usually just 'amazon dot com'.
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