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Redundant Acronyms and Initialisms

Have you ever forgotten your PIN Number for the ATM Machine? Did you ever take SAT Tests? Does it annoy you when people use these acronym/initialism pleonasms?

The problem, of course, is that PIN means Personal Identification Number, so you don't need to say "Number" afterwards. In fact, it's quite wrong to do so, for what is a Personal Identification Number Number? It's probably the telephone number you have to call if you have forgotten your PIN. (Does anyone know if there's a PIN Number Number you can call if you forget the PIN Number?)

Most of us are guilty of making such errors at sometime or other: ISBN Number, ABS System, LCD Display... Here's a list of common errors of this type. Watch out for your friends (and even people on TV) making these pleonastic mistakes.

  %APR percentage Annual Percentage Rate
  A.M. in the
  morning
Ante Meridiem in the morning (lit. before noon in the morning)
  ABM missile Antiballistic Missile missile
  ABS system Antilock Braking System system
  AC current Alternating Current current
  ACT test American College Test test
  ADSL lineAsymmetric Digital Subscriber Line line
  APL programing
  language
A Programming Language programming language
  ATM machine Automated Teller Machine machine
  BASIC code Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code code
  CAD design Computer-Aided Design design
  CNN news
  network
Cable News Network news network
  DC current Direct Current current
  DMZ zone Demilitarized Zone zone
  DOS operating
  system
Disk Operating System operating system
  GMT time Greenwich Mean Time time
  GOP partyGrand Old Party party
  GRE examGraduate Record Examination examination
  HIV virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus virus
  HTML languageHypertext Markup Language language
  ISBN numberInternational Standard Book Number number
  ISDN network Integrated Services Digital Network network
  LAN networkLocal Area Network network
  LCD display Liquid Crystal Display display
  LED diode Light Emitting Diode diode
  NATO
  organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization organization
  PC Computer Personal Computer computer
  PIN numberPersonal Identification Number number
  Please RSVPplease Répondez S'il Vous Plaît (lit. please reply please)
  RAM memoryRandom-Access Memory memory
  SAT testScholastic Assessment (or Aptitude) Test test
  SCSI interface Small Computer System Interface interface
  UPC codeUniversal Product Code code
  VIN numberVehicle Identification Number number

More Redundancies, Pleonasms, and Tautologies

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