Thursday, July 11, 2013

RAS Syndrome

Have you ever noticed that people use abbreviations and then repeat a part of the abbreviation in words?  It's quite silly.

For example, "ATM machine".

How many times have you heard someone say, "I need to stop by the ATM machine to get some cash."

What they're really saying is, "I need to stop by the automated teller machine machine to get some cash."  I guess some people can't settle for a machine to cover their automated telling needs.  They need a machine machine, because that's when things get serious.

Or how about PIN number.  It's important to always keep your personal identification number number a secret.  That's a number number that you do not want to be public knowledge.

VIN number.  Your vehicle identification number number doesn't need to be as secret as your personal identification number number.  Unless there are car identity thieves out there.

Here's another one that might be unique to geeks, but even I have said this one: GIF format.  For you non geeks, the graphics interchange format format is commonly used for short animations to be posted online.

LCD Display.  I have a fancy new TV.  It's got an awesome liquid crystal display display.  You should check it out.  None of that singular display garbage for me.

This last one is not the same as the others.  (Think of the "one of these things does not belong here" song from Sesame Street.)  Have you ever heard someone say that they had to get up so early, they were awake at 3 AM in the morning?

AM stands for ante meridiem, which means before midday.  It's not the exact same word, like it is in the examples above, but it's still redundant.  "I had to wake up at 3, before midday.  Ya, you heard me, morning time."

You know what the best part is about all this craziness?  There's a name for it.  Apparently it's called the RAS syndrome.  That stands for Redundant Abbreviation Syndrome syndrome.  It's a terrible disease.  Don't let it afflict you.  Or you will be mocked.

Are there any I missed?


  1. Omg! I even KNEW some of these and still abused them (PIN and VIN). But no worries. I'm done with these, and I'm sure I'm now going to be just as annoyed as you when I hear them.

  2. I love when you get all language analytical in your blog! Hooray! Thanks for the laughs.

  3. I sure in the education world there are plenty of these since there are PLENTY of abbreviations.


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