Initialisms and -ed
Posted: 04 April 2012 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Initialisms have been all the rage since WW2, and some of them are used as verbs.

Some common ones are OD, CGI, RSVP, SMS.

I’ve seen various ways of writing the past forms of these. RSVPed seems common but some people go for RSVP’d. I don’t think I’ve encountered ODed in the wild: OD’d seems common. ODd would just look, well, odd. SMSed appears to be more common than SMS’d.

I have seen five different versions of the past form of CGI, and perhaps this instability reflects the fact that its use as a verb is quite new.

http://www.beexcellenttoeachother.com/forum/viewtopic.php?style=5&f=3&t=3817&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=5820
Was he CGIed to be skinny in the first bit then? Seamless if so.

http://www.youtube.com/user/devin1622/feed
I swear that he’s CGI’d he’s that damn good

http://www.caigenxiang.com/guest.aspx
They CGId me in the altogether.

http://flare.solareclipse.net/cgi2/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=002771;p=4
because if they CGI’ed it all they’d probably do it in-house

http://www.fanpop.com/spots/tangled/images/20390073/title/remember-now-cgi-ed-photo
Remember this? Now, it’s CGI-ed!

Question: what do the well respected style gurus recommend? What do you prefer?

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Posted: 04 April 2012 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My personal preference is definitely for the apostrophe.  I’m less definite (and probably inconsistent in my own use, if I bothered to check) on ‘d versus ‘ed.

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Posted: 04 April 2012 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I was going to say it all depends on the style guide you choose, but then I checked Chicago and they don’t seem to cover this.  Neither does Garner’s Modern American Usage; like Chicago, it covers plurals but not past tense forms.  This site says “if the verb IM (pronounced as separate letters) means to send (someone) an instant message, the past tense may be rendered IM’ed, IMed, IM’d, or IMd,” which is no help at all.  So I guess you just have to pick a form that looks good to you and use it consistently.  I think that, like the Good Doctor, I prefer the apostrophe.

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Posted: 04 April 2012 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I never heard of some of these initialisms. In the forest industries, OD means “Oven Dry” or “Oven Dried”. What’s it mean to the rest of the world? Orl Ded, maybe?

As for CGI, I’ve no idea, and the examples aren’t much help. Clearly Gone Insane? or perhaps Chews Grass Indiscriminately, à la Nebuchadnezzar?

Old Fossil grimaces with disapproval, and totters over to the liquid consolations cabinet

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Posted: 04 April 2012 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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OD usually means overdose in the UK. “She OD’d on sleeping pills”.

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Posted: 04 April 2012 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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CGI is Computer Graphic(s) Imaging (or ...Generated...). Used heavily in modern movie-making, sometimes as a verb, as in “Voldemort’s face was CGI’d onto the back of Ian Hart’s head.”

[ Edited: 04 April 2012 12:16 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 04 April 2012 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Goodness me, lionello, but OD has been around since the 1960s. I’ll give you a GOOJFC on CGI which has only been used as a verb in the last decade or so, to my knowledge.

I’ve been looking back through my emails. Various initialisms that are specific to my field are used as verbs. I mostly use ed, e.g. FTPed, NMOed. I’d say RSVPed. I think my preference would be to use that form unless I felt it looked wrong (which would probably be the case for ODed.)

I suppose it is different again for according-to-Hoyle acronyms: I would think lasered and scubaed would be uncontroversial.

BTW, googling around on this, I discovered that the Cisco company’s policy on this is just to not use initialisms as verbs: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/general/style/guide/SGAug09/style.html . Well, screw you, Cisco, I want to be able to write what I say.

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