Wednesday, 9 November 2011

On abbreviations

As a child, the only abbreviations I used were AM, PM, AD, BC, TV, N, S, E, W, etc., eg, i.e, Dr. & O.K. And of course I knew what INRI meant. Moving up through school, I learnt what KFC meant (Who didn't?). 

A general awareness of the world around me got me recognising the political (UAE, UN, EU, US, NY, UK), the security & military (FBI, CIA, KGB, MI5, MI6, NATO, SAS, Gen. Lt., Corp.), the media (DD, CN, AP, BBC, CNN), and general terms like vs., RIP, WWF, WWE, NBA, SOS, Y2K, WWW, PT, CD & DVD.

But my love/hate relationship with abbreviations really began when I moved to Bombay in 2000. Everyone was using (abusing?) them. It all began in college. Junior college. Or JC as they called it. Subdivided into FYJC & SYJC, or FY & SY respectively. 

Senior college was SC, and subdivided into FY, SY & TY. Lectures were 'lecs'. Professors were 'profs'. Psychology was 'Psych'. Sociology was 'Socio'. And our final degrees were BA, B.Com, B.Sc, B.Sc.IT, LLB, BMS, BMM, BBA, BE, B.Tech, B.Arch, MA, M.Sc, ME, M.Tech, M.Arch, D.Lit, D.Phil & Ph.D.

This was all quite new to someone who's only knowledge of educational abbreviations till that point was SSC & HSC. This category soon expanded to also include SAT, CAT, GMAT & IELTS. College also left me with APA, viz., p.a., et al. & ibid.

It was around this time that I took an interest in photography, and P&S, DSLR, AF, AE, DOF, CMOS, EVF, HDR, IS, ISO, RGB became a part of my life forever.

But the real fun started when I began work. In a call center. I had a TL (Team Leader), who reported to a STL (Senior Team Leader). We had to undergo OJT (On the Job Training), and any breaks we took were OPAs (Off Phone Activity). Our work was subject to QA (Quality Assurance). Any leave we booked was either PL (Privilege Leave), EL (Earned Leave) or SL (Sick Leave).

And getting a job meant using an ATM with a card with a PIN number. And getting a PAN card. And learning to invest in financial organisations like ICICI, HDFC, SBI & HSBC through MFs while tracking NAVs. And getting to know about INR, USD, GBP, EUR & AED.

The corporate world in general is no better, hierarchy wise. You complete your MBA or CA, learn about USP, ISO, IP rights, B2B & B2C, send your CV to a company's HR dept., start off as an AM, then move on to AVP, VP & possibly CEO, CFO, CTO or MD, each with their own PA. 

The work you do always has to be done ASAP, or by the EOD. You might work in R&D or need to raise a PO at some point, with an eye on ROI & P&L. Remember to track figures in YTD. 

You need to be extra careful when dealing with VIPs or HoDs, especially when you Cc them in emails with large JPEGs or PP attachments you make on your Windows OS computer. And you'd be laughed at if you didn't know what large organisations like IMF, WHO, RBI, IBM, AT&T, AOL, HP & BP stand for. 

IT people perhaps have it worst, with terms like IP (addresses), VoIP, VPN, LDAP, ROM, DVR, CPU, NEC, AMD, CAD, CMS, GNU, HTML, .NET, J2EE, JDBC, JVM, JSP, DOS, COBOL, CSS, XML, URL, IE, RSS & PHP being par for the course, and new ones being invented daily.

And moving back from the professional to the personal, I realise how keeping up to date with the news and pop culture has changed my vocabulary.

Reading introduced me to JRR Tolkien (Of LOTR fame) & CS Lewis. An interest in property taught me what NOC and FSI mean. Terrorism produced RAW, WTC, POW, GI, MIA & WMD. Let's not forget TV networks like like HBO, CBC, NBC & ABC.

Digital networking dealt out SMS, IM, BRB, WTF, OMG, LOL, FUBAR, ROTFL, OCSL & IMO. Newspapers like the TOI, IE & HT gave me MP, MLA, BJP, RJD, UPA, NDA & GOI. Current crazes include 3D & IPL (RR, MI, KKR, CSK).

The health and medical world dosed us with AA, LSD, SARS, ENT, GP & ER.
Technology having overtaken or lives, we can't go a single day without using terms like LED, LCD, LAN, RAM, HD, MP (Megapixel), WiFi or 3G. And let's not forget cricketing terms - FOW, LBW, C&B, NO, St., Wkt.

Have I left out any?


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