Acronym madness

While I was reading Tom Clancy’s The Teeth of the Tiger on my return flight to New York, something kept grabbing my attention. In the book, Tom Clancy kept using the phrase ‘ATM machine’. Come on Tom, surely a techno-thriller writer like yourself won’t make this basic english mistake? ATM stands for ‘Automatic Teller Machine’, so what does ATM machine means then? ‘Automatic Teller Machine Machine’?

I guess people in general do not care what the acronym stands for as long as they know what they mean. For example, news reader on TV often refers surface-to-air missile as SAM missile. Or PIN as PIN number. Duh!

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2 comments

  1. Alex

    Interesting, what don’t you care? Is it because it takes too much effort to understand the acronym and use it in the correct manner in writing and conversation? Or you just plain don’t care?

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