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Posted: 27 February 2007 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Whilst on the subject of irritations, has anyone else been struck by the increasing use of the internally redundant expression “PIN number”?

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Increasing? People have been saying it for years.

I have a vague memory of condemning the usage at the old board, and being in turn condemned by Dave for going against general usage.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Good for Dave!  This is not merely with regard to “PIN”, but initialisms in general.  The irritated prescriptivists insist that such be analyzed in their expanded form.  In the real world this is not how it works.  You see the same thing with people who claim that the plural of RBI is RBI, or perhaps RsBI.  Not in English it ain’t.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think this is the thread to which kurwamac refers.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It was. Your ability to search amazes me. I tried and failed.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Your ability to search amazes me.

As it does me. To recall that PIN was discussed in a thread on hoi polloi is a feat of memory worthy of old Dame Mnemosyne herself. I tip my hat to you, Doc.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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More irritations for all you prescriptivists.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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kurwamac - 27 February 2007 12:00 PM

Increasing? People have been saying it for years.

Well, the introduction of Chip and PIN in the UK has vastly increased the number of people using the expression.  OTOH I’ve almost never seen “PIN number” written down.  Perhaps the action of writing makes the writer stop and think what PIN stands for.

Are there many examples of acronyms that have become words, ie losing their capitalisation (as opposed to words which are thought, wrongly, to once have been acronyms)?

Edit: Sorry, forgot to ask what RBI stands for.

[ Edited: 27 February 2007 12:54 PM by bayard ]
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Posted: 27 February 2007 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Eliza, I’m delighted to learn I’m a prescriptivist.  “-ist"s seem to inhabit a more degenerate world than “-ian"s (in the company of masochists and terrorists rather than humanitarians and vegetarians). (Except entymologists, of course, says he, hurriedly)

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Posted: 27 February 2007 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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[removed, redundant, already linked above]

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Posted: 27 February 2007 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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RBI = Runs Batted In

A baseball statistic that is the count of the number of runs scored as a result of a player’s hits. A home run with no one on base is one RBI. A home run with two men on base is three RBIs. A double (the batter reaches second base) that drives in two runs is two RBIs. Etc.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Although my memory sometimes amazes even me, in this case it was skill at Googling (he said modestly) that turned it up, not remembering the thread title.

“PIN number” +wordorigins site:ezboard.com in the Google search field does the trick.

(On the other hand, why should I reveal my secrets?)

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Posted: 27 February 2007 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Weird. I tried with pin ezboard wordorigins, which brings up nothing relevant; “pin number” wordorigins site:ezboard.com only brings up the thread Eliza found; but with the addition of the plus sign I get both threads, and another as well.

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Posted: 27 February 2007 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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... more ...

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Posted: 28 February 2007 12:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Not sure that IBM machines is truly a RAP phrase, since IBM is a business name and machines are what they produce. It’s somewhat like saying BBC broadcast: not a redundancy. Interesting link, otherwise, and thank you Eliza for your judicious perspicacity in selection.

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Posted: 28 February 2007 01:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thanks, Eliza, I think that just about wraps up the redundancy discission.  Any examples of acronyms that have become words, though, anyone?

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