Although it's getting harder every day, I try not to get too worried about (or annoyed by) the latest and trendiest three-letter acronyms (TLAs) in the business world -- there's not enough time in the day, and besides, as soon as I get to feeling like I've got a handle on these abbreviations, they've either changed or been replaced.
If you've come across any (whether real or imagined) that aren't on the list, please post them here and do your part to stem this tide of TLAs that threatens the very foundations of comprehensible business conversation (not to mention my precious sanity!)
Here's some humorous examples that I knew of, found online, or had emailed to me by colleagues -- I've included them because, as we all know, a little mockery always makes you feel better.
AOL: Another Old Lady (or Artificial Obedient Lifeform)
CAD: Can't Actually Draw, Computer Aided Disaster (or Computer Aggravated Designer)
CD-ROM: Cupholder Doesn't Really Operate for Mugs (This one goes back to the 90s, when IT staff would often get calls about the broken “retractable cupholders” on office computers).
DNA: National Dyslexia Association
GIGO: Garbage In, Gospel Out
IBM: Not surprisingly, most of the alternatives here were associated with the "BM" part, and most aren't fit for polite company (there's a full list here)
IM: I included this one not because there's a humorous alternative, but because the IM Generation (Gen Y) have already supersaturated their communication with annoying abbreviations (think OMG for "Oh My God" and LOL for "Laugh Out Loud"), making me worry that the “acronym explosion” described in this post is only the first link in a coming chain reaction (SSM -- "Somebody Shoot Me").
IPO: I'm Paid in Options
IT: In Trouble
KPI: Key Performance Indicator (At least once a month, one of our webcast speakers uses KPI in a presentation, usually without explaining what it is. Invariably, we get a question or two from the audience, "What's a KPI?" So now it's common practice whenever we hear it, for everyone on the web team to look at each other and ask, "What's a KPI?")
MoFo: Mozilla Foundation
MS: MicroSlop, MicroSloth, Monopolistic Solutions, MY Software!
P2P, B2B, BS2BS: Peer-to-peer, Business-to-business, and I'm sure you can guess the meaning of the last one
PC: Please Crush, Pencil Charpener (sic)
PICNIC: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer (origin is obviously IT support services)
RAS Syndrome: Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome (think ATM Machine, HIV Virus or PIN Number for examples of RAS Syndrome at work)
T&A: Textile And Apparel (Ye of dirty minds…)
WWW: the World Wide Wait (Author Douglas Adams has cleverly pointed out that, in the case of the WWW, the abbreviation actually takes three times as long to say as the thing itself).
And finally, the last entry (and a fitting summation of all that you just read):
YYY: Yada Yada Yada