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Old Yesterday, 06:32 PM
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PWUA (People Who Use Acronyms) and terms they assume people will know (spoiler: they don't)


I realized I have a very primal reaction to a pet peeve.

Was out with a group of students and teachers (after a night class), and one woman kept going on and on about "DDD": "So, DDD did a thing on... Waiting for DDD to come on, I made myself an egg... Oh MY GAAAAHD, did anyone see? DDD was inSAYYYYNE!" I thought it was a Millennial thing (she's 30), but the others were giving quizzical glances whenever she said it. She tends to hog the discussion, so no one wanted to ask and prolong her stories, but finally I couldn't take it any more... "Sorry, what's DDD?"

I got the most withering stare, then an eyeroll, and after a beat she sneered, "Only Diner, Dives and Drive-Ins, gaaaahd..."

At least it wasn't like playing poker with my scientist friends. Man, the acronyms! They assume you know your GMS from your GOES (I looked them up at home... different types of satellites). And the one I know best is so literate that he makes obscure references to classic thinkers. Last time I said "I wish I could click on our conversation and get footnotes", he said "C'mon, you can't seriously have missed the Faulkner reference..."

The fact that he said this in front of a group of friends made me feel... well, there's the problem. I don't like to feel stupid. And people using terms and references that they assume everyone knows makes me feel like I'm not keeping up.
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Old Yesterday, 06:35 PM
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ikr?
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Old Yesterday, 06:38 PM
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ikr?
No, Hook killed Rufio.
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Old Yesterday, 06:41 PM
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Ah, of course - HKR
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Old Yesterday, 06:50 PM
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In my lexicon, DDD means Daily Dose of Disappointment. It's related to how I'm constantly looking for collectibles that are released on a distinctly non-constant schedule, resulting the term describing what I'm really going to the store to get.

And computer science is positively rife with acronyms, particularly TLAs.
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Old Yesterday, 07:23 PM
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I used to deal with IT vendors on a regular basis. Every one of them would use acronyms when we were meeting with them. It finally got to the point where I had to open a meeting with a proclamation that nobody would use acronyms during the upcoming meeting. They learned rather quickly that they needed to follow that rule.
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Old Yesterday, 07:27 PM
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I had to look up the term "stans" used in a tweet today, as in "Trump stans don't care what he does".

Apparently, it's like a groupie.
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Old Yesterday, 07:30 PM
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...At least it wasn't like playing poker with my scientist friends. Man, the acronyms! They assume you know your GMS from your GOES (I looked them up at home... different types of satellites). And the one I know best is so literate that he makes obscure references to classic thinkers. Last time I said "I wish I could click on our conversation and get footnotes", he said "C'mon, you can't seriously have missed the Faulkner reference..."

The fact that he said this in front of a group of friends made me feel... well, there's the problem. I don't like to feel stupid. And people using terms and references that they assume everyone knows makes me feel like I'm not keeping up.
Well, making other people feel stupid is probably more important to that guy than winning the poker game.

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Originally Posted by Railer13 View Post
I used to deal with IT vendors on a regular basis. Every one of them would use acronyms when we were meeting with them. It finally got to the point where I had to open a meeting with a proclamation that nobody would use acronyms during the upcoming meeting. They learned rather quickly that they needed to follow that rule.
It's good to be the buyer.


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Old Yesterday, 07:40 PM
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Guy Fieri doesn't even call it DDD. He calls it "Triple D."
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Railer13 View Post
I used to deal with IT vendors on a regular basis. Every one of them would use acronyms when we were meeting with them. It finally got to the point where I had to open a meeting with a proclamation that nobody would use acronyms during the upcoming meeting. They learned rather quickly that they needed to follow that rule.

What happened? Did someone ask, "Is that now SOP?"

Last edited by Monty; Yesterday at 08:45 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:10 PM
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What happened? Did someone ask, "Is that now SOP?"
I would tell them that if IDK what their TLA was, they could KMA.
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Old Yesterday, 09:47 PM
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Guy Fieri doesn't even call it DDD. He calls it "Triple D."
Yes, Iíve never heard it called ďDDDĒ. Triple D or the full name of the show.

Same with Triple G, or Guyís Grocery Games (his other popular show).
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Old Yesterday, 09:52 PM
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I guess this is related to the acronym issue in the OP. It drives me batty when people say the acronym wrong. It's "ay-sap", not "ay-es-ay-pee".
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Old Yesterday, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by digs View Post
I realized I have a very primal reaction to a pet peeve.

Was out with a group of students and teachers (after a night class), and one woman kept going on and on about "DDD": "So, DDD did a thing on... Waiting for DDD to come on, I made myself an egg... Oh MY GAAAAHD, did anyone see? DDD was inSAYYYYNE!" I thought it was a Millennial thing (she's 30), but the others were giving quizzical glances whenever she said it. She tends to hog the discussion, so no one wanted to ask and prolong her stories, but finally I couldn't take it any more... "Sorry, what's DDD?"

I got the most withering stare, then an eyeroll, and after a beat she sneered, "Only Diner, Dives and Drive-Ins, gaaaahd..."
This happens a lot on the SDMB. A LOT. Among twits socializing in real life it's going to happen and there's not much you can do. People are idiots. But I never expected to find so much of it here. Maybe it's because everyone does it on Facebook or when they're texting friends but here I would think people would avoid being vague like the plague.

But nope. I think's it's actually the reverse--people get off on knowing and using niche jargon here. If you're gonna do that, at least use the actual jargon words instead of acronyms and initialisms that nobody could ever know.

Do NOT make me look it up.
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Old Yesterday, 10:08 PM
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This happens a lot on the SDMB. A LOT. Among twits socializing in real life it's going to happen and there's not much you can do. People are idiots. But I never expected to find so much of it here. Maybe it's because everyone does it on Facebook or when they're texting friends but here I would think people would avoid being vague like the plague.

But nope. I think's it's actually the reverse--people get off on knowing and using niche jargon here. If you're gonna do that, at least use the actual jargon words instead of acronyms and initialisms that nobody could ever know.
It's a million times worse on Reddit.
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 PM
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TIL it's worse on Reddit.
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Old Today, 12:03 AM
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I guess this is related to the acronym issue in the OP. It drives me batty when people say the acronym wrong. It's "ay-sap", not "ay-es-ay-pee".
I use both. I use ďay-sapĒ when Iím using it casually. I spell out the letters when Iím emphasizing how critical it is.
  #18  
Old Today, 12:03 AM
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finally I couldn't take it any more... "Sorry, what's DDD?"

I got the most withering stare, then an eyeroll, and after a beat she sneered, "Only Diner, Dives and Drive-Ins, gaaaahd..."
I know, I just know I wouldn't have been able to resist, and damn the consequences, saying "Really? You spend your time watching THAT? Huh."
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Old Today, 12:57 AM
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I guess this is related to the acronym issue in the OP. It drives me batty when people say the acronym wrong. It's "ay-sap", not "ay-es-ay-pee".
Reverse that and you got it right. I don’t say Fibbi-aye when we’re talking about the FBI.

Plus, grammatically incorrect. “I need a document, a sap.” ???

Last edited by Locrian; Today at 01:00 AM.
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Old Today, 01:22 AM
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I thought one of the nicknames for the FBI is "The Feeb".
  #21  
Old Today, 01:51 AM
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My all time favorite is OMG. Spelled out O-M-G, not oh my god.
  #22  
Old Today, 02:35 AM
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I realized I have a very primal reaction to a pet peeve.

Was out with a group of students and teachers (after a night class), and one woman kept going on and on about "DDD": "So, DDD did a thing on... Waiting for DDD to come on, I made myself an egg... Oh MY GAAAAHD, did anyone see? DDD was inSAYYYYNE!" I thought it was a Millennial thing (she's 30), but the others were giving quizzical glances whenever she said it. She tends to hog the discussion, so no one wanted to ask and prolong her stories, but finally I couldn't take it any more... "Sorry, what's DDD?"

I got the most withering stare, then an eyeroll, and after a beat she sneered, "Only Diner, Dives and Drive-Ins, gaaaahd..."
I would have regarded that (honestly) as no explanation at all, and asked, in all sincerity, WTF (hah!) is Diner, Dives and Drive-Ins? Until reading this thread I had not the faintest idea -- my TV gets turned on an average of maybe once a month, if that (except during hockey season) and I'd never heard of the stupid thing. But, TEHO, YMMV. And to the nice DDD lady, FYATHYRIO.
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Old Today, 02:49 AM
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I like KMAG-YOYO too.
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Old Today, 06:19 AM
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in the OP.
In the what?

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Originally Posted by I Love Me, Vol. I View Post
This happens a lot on the SDMB.
On the what?
  #25  
Old Today, 06:46 AM
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Try working for the government. All our case notes are alphabet soup. Unfortunately, I have some coworkers who have created new acronyms, which only they know the definition. Makes coverage a real PITA.
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Old Today, 07:06 AM
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I sent my gf (girlfriend) a text last week with a link I labeled NSFW. She replied "NSFW?", which made me think that she thought it was safe for work (it definitely was not).

So, we went back and forth with neither understanding what the other was saying. Finally I realized that she did not know what NSFW meant! Eventually she asked a bunch of her coworkers, and they all knew, of course, and were surprised that she didn't.
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Old Today, 08:37 AM
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If I had heard DDD I would have thought of Dolly Parton.

It is an irritating habit. In technical writing it's generally accepted practice that the first time an acronym is used, it is spelled out with the acronym following in parentheses.
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Old Today, 08:54 AM
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Can I add to this peeve my own peeve about using "acronym" to mean any and all abbreviations?

That aside, I agree with the OP's sentiment. It irritates me when people use unfamiliar abbreviations and cutesy nicknames. Those things might be appropriate for a particular in-group, but when you go out into larger society, it's obnoxious.

It happens all the time though. I just noticed a thread title on the Dope referring to the "EPL." Why use that abbreviation in the title? There isn't a character limitation problem here.
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Old Today, 09:17 AM
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Let me extend this to Americans who use postal abbreviations for states in a forum that includes non-American readers. It's unnecessary. Just spell out the names of states.

Also, with the airport codes. An airport code is not the name of a city. Just say the name of the city you're talking about.
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Last edited by Acsenray; Today at 09:19 AM.
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Old Today, 09:21 AM
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Just spell out the names of states.
I feel bad for the people living in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  #31  
Old Today, 09:45 AM
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Triple D is actually "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives."

Just sayin'.

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Old Today, 10:02 AM
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In at least one case, I don't have a choice.

One professional organization that I belong to has a name that was once an acronym, but now is not. They decided that the full name behind the acronym no longer accurately described what the organization had evolved into. But they wanted to keep the acronym, for purposes of branding and familiarity.

Several committees tried very hard to come up with a new name that still worked out to the same acronym, but failed. So it was simply declared that the acronym is now the official name of the organization, and the letters do not stand for anything (although it is still spelled in all caps--branding again--so it looks like an acronym).

It's kind of annoying when I have to apply for funding to travel to their annual conference. We're required to spell out the full name of all organizations on our travel forms, no abbreviations or acronyms. Every year I have to explain, "There is no fuller name. The letters don't stand for anything."
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Old Today, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Railer13 View Post
I used to deal with IT vendors on a regular basis. Every one of them would use acronyms when we were meeting with them. It finally got to the point where I had to open a meeting with a proclamation that nobody would use acronyms during the upcoming meeting. They learned rather quickly that they needed to follow that rule.
Although in technical fields it may be that the acronym is more well known and a and so in some ways a better description then the actual thing it spells out.

For example in my field if someone asks, if I have the CGH data on MYD88 for the HBL1 cell line, I would know what they wanted. If instead they asked for the Comparative genomic hybridization data, on the Myeloid Differentiation Primary Response Protein 88, for Human diffuse B-cell lymphoma cell line 1, I'd be totally baffled.

Similarly it if a teller asked me to put in my personal identification number, I'd be a bit confused until I worked out that they meant my PIN number (yes I do realize its redundant, linguistics is descriptive not prescriptive so suck it).
  #34  
Old Today, 10:37 AM
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Let me extend this to Americans who use postal abbreviations for states in a forum that includes non-American readers. It's unnecessary. Just spell out the names of states.

Also, with the airport codes. An airport code is not the name of a city. Just say the name of the city you're talking about.
I can't get behind this. I'm not going to type Pennsylvania when PA is correct, or California in place of CA, especially when the state follows a city.
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Old Today, 10:42 AM
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Although in technical fields it may be that the acronym is more well known and a and so in some ways a better description then the actual thing it spells out.
True, but when the communications vendor talks about the CIR and the CPE, and then in the next meeting the software guy talks about the CLI and the CRC, it gets rather confusing to us customers. Then throw in the Security guy talking about AES and IPS and, well, you get the picture.

The last big project I worked on was the upgrade to our in-house call center system. We had a vendor-provided list of acronyms that everybody could refer to as needed.
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Old Today, 10:43 AM
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I can't get behind this. I'm not going to type Pennsylvania when PA is correct, or California in place of CA, especially when the state follows a city.
Why? Because you expect that everyone around the world should know a set of abbreviations relevant only to us? The name of the state is never incorrect, even after the city.
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Old Today, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MrAtoz View Post
In at least one case, I don't have a choice.

One professional organization that I belong to has a name that was once an acronym, but now is not. They decided that the full name behind the acronym no longer accurately described what the organization had evolved into. But they wanted to keep the acronym, for purposes of branding and familiarity.

Several committees tried very hard to come up with a new name that still worked out to the same acronym, but failed. So it was simply declared that the acronym is now the official name of the organization, and the letters do not stand for anything (although it is still spelled in all caps--branding again--so it looks like an acronym).

It's kind of annoying when I have to apply for funding to travel to their annual conference. We're required to spell out the full name of all organizations on our travel forms, no abbreviations or acronyms. Every year I have to explain, "There is no fuller name. The letters don't stand for anything."
That's what happened to BECU. Used to be the Boeing Employees Credit Union. It's not restricted to Boeing employees anymore, so the name is just BECU now.



anyway, can this be SDMB's new tag line?

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It's a million times worse on Reddit.
  #38  
Old Today, 10:50 AM
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Why? Because you expect that everyone around the world should know a set of abbreviations relevant only to us? The name of the state is never incorrect, even after the city.
Because I'm lazy and I'm on a phone. If I can save typing ten letters by using an abbreviation, then I will. This message board is based in the U.S. and most of the members know the abbreviations. Anybody who doesn't can ask. Consider it my contribution to fighting ignorance
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Old Today, 11:01 AM
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Let me extend this to Americans who use postal abbreviations for states in a forum that includes non-American readers. It's unnecessary. Just spell out the names of states.
Dumbest version of that I've seen was when working in a UK postal sorting office as a Christmas temp. Got multiple letters with a clearly non-UK address ending in just a state abbreviation, no country. Had a few 'Oh crap, is VA Virginia, USA or Victoria, Australia?' type moments. And yes, those would be sorted differently at that point.

After a while though, I realised it was *always* USA, everyone else put the country on.
  #40  
Old Today, 12:14 PM
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Why? Because you expect that everyone around the world should know a set of abbreviations relevant only to us? The name of the state is never incorrect, even after the city.
Why are you using an acronym in your location field?
  #41  
Old Today, 12:22 PM
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Why are you using an acronym in your location field?
IIRC, he is a student at the University of South Alabama. Go USA Jaguars!!!
  #42  
Old Today, 12:31 PM
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Why are you using an acronym in your location field?
1. I'm not using an acronym.

2. It's an abbreviation commonly known throughout the world, and is a well-known shorthand for the country, more commonly used than the full name. So, it's not comparable to postal abbreviations for states.
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Old Today, 01:00 PM
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I can't get behind this. I'm not going to type Pennsylvania when PA is correct, or California in place of CA, especially when the state follows a city.
What does "correct" mean? If you're mailing something, the 2-letter is correct and writing out the entire state name is wrong. If you're communicating, though, "correct" is whatever best conveys your message to its audience.

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Because I'm lazy and I'm on a phone. If I can save typing ten letters by using an abbreviation, then I will. This message board is based in the U.S. and most of the members know the abbreviations. Anybody who doesn't can ask.
Or just ignore whatever you had to say, since you didn't communicate it effectively.


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Consider it my contribution to fighting ignorance
It's pretty much the diametrical opposite.
  #44  
Old Today, 01:02 PM
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Although in technical fields it may be that the acronym is more well known and a and so in some ways a better description then the actual thing it spells out.

For example in my field if someone asks, if I have the CGH data on MYD88 for the HBL1 cell line, I would know what they wanted. If instead they asked for the Comparative genomic hybridization data, on the Myeloid Differentiation Primary Response Protein 88, for Human diffuse B-cell lymphoma cell line 1, I'd be totally baffled.

Similarly it if a teller asked me to put in my personal identification number, I'd be a bit confused until I worked out that they meant my PIN number (yes I do realize its redundant, linguistics is descriptive not prescriptive so suck it).
Yes Iím asking my colleague to replace the CMOS battery to make sure the BIOS doesnít get reset. Iím not asking them about a complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor battery to ensure basic input/output settings arenít screwed up.

Of course if Iím talking to a layman Iím not using either the abbreviation or full name, Iím using a descriptor so they know what the hell Iím talking about.
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