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Some acronyms undergo assimilation into ordinary words: often they… - The Grammarsaurus Rex Club [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The Grammarsaurus Rex Club

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[Sep. 17th, 2004|03:06 am]
The Grammarsaurus Rex Club

grammar_saurus

[catches_sars]
[mood |linguistic]

Some acronyms undergo assimilation into ordinary words: often they are written in lower case, and eventually it is widely forgotten that the word was derived from the initials of others: scuba and laser, for instance. The term anacronym has been coined as a combination of the words "anachronism" and "acronym" to describe acronyms whose original meaning is forgotten.
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[User Picture]From: jstealth
2004-09-26 09:46 pm (UTC)
I think you've overstated yourself with regard to the examples. Scuba and laser are, admittedly, acronyms, though their meanings are not lost. SCUBA = Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. LASER = Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

More fun acronyms!
RADAR. MODEM. SONAR. WASP. uh, FUBAR.
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[User Picture]From: catches_sars
2004-09-27 06:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm not saying their meaning is lost, but forgotten. If you walk down the street and ask random people what "SCUBA" and "LASER" stand for, you'll see a lot of head-scratching.
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[User Picture]From: jstealth
2004-10-07 09:04 pm (UTC)
I suppose you are right. What do you think of that? Should people be aware of the etymologies of the words they use? Not knowing doesn't preclude correct usage, though some people find it fun to trace word histories (me!). I'm usually quick to consider lack of knowledge as a bad thing, but maybe it's easier for people to go about thier lives making up new words and reinventing the language than to get caught up in the past.

I'll keep doing it, though, since it's fun!
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