Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Confusing World of Acronyms

I was shocked to read the headline "HCL disinvestment should be put on hold" in here. After all, I was more familiar with "Hindustan Computers Limited" than "Hindustan Copper Limited". That reminded me of a person I met few years back. This person met couple of young men who introduced themselves as HP employees. Our friend thought that he was talking to couple of computer geeks from Hewlett-Packard until he found that the guys were actually from Hindustan Petroleum!!! Now that makes me wonder how companies can have similar acronyms, and on the first place, why should companies have big names? Why should a company have a 4-word name only to be shortened to 4 letters and confuse people?
Things get more confusing when the abbreviations are not just names, but technologies related to each other. If a person tells you that he is working on DWDM, will you take that to be "Dense Wave Division Multiplexing" or "Data Warehousing and Data Mining"? Is IP "Internet Protocol" or "Intellectual Property"? Is BIOS "Basic Input/Output System" or "Built-in Operating System"? Want to know something worse? In my new company I was asked on the first day if I am an MA. I was about to reply that I am an MBA, when I remembered that my appointment order had my designation as "Management Associate (MA)".
In my humble opinion (I couldn't write IMHO after cursing the acronyms so much), the acronyms are straining the listener's ears more than they are easing the speaker's voice. What do you think?


Blogger Akshay said...

I was taken aback when i saw Hindustan Copper Limited. I hadnt heard of it before.

27 April, 2005 05:40  
Blogger Jammy said...


I too hadn't heard of it before.

27 April, 2005 06:11  
Blogger Heidi Kris said...


This is one more way to steal the goodwill of reputed concerns. Unless acronyms are also patented, people will keep playing fool with the names.

27 April, 2005 09:53  
Blogger Ram said...


i mean, "It's Indeed Troublesome"

27 April, 2005 15:28  
Anonymous Chandoo said...

hehe... acronyms are one thing that you need to use to save your a$$ sometimes. read dilbert principle? there is a chapter about this, absolutly funny. :d

28 April, 2005 02:04  
Blogger Just Me said...

@Your comment on "Review of..Life":
I don't really know about that :), but I kinda thought it made me sound like an eccentric genius....I suppose it's not working.....:))...oh...and your article on Acronyms...good one!!

28 April, 2005 02:35  

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