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Acronym Anarchy

  • August 25, 2004
  • By Bradley L. Jones
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It has gotten out of control. The insanity has to be stopped. Words are not the enemy of programmers. Lower case is not bad. Programming languages such as C++ and C# respect lowercase letters! Multiple syllables can be used! In a need for brevity, it seems that the concept of easily identifiable terms and concepts has been lost!

While I have no evidence to back it, it seems like the use of acronyms by software companies is as prevalent as it has ever been. The number of acronyms that a developer runs into in an any given day seems to be increasing.

Following is a table containing 100 acronyms. These are all acronyms related to computer terms and products. I challenge you to see how many you can expand out. Once you've given this a try, check the remaining pages of this article. I've gone ahead and listed what each one is on the following pages.

If you can get 75 of the 100, you are most likely a developer and you definitely know your acronyms. Be aware though—while some are quite easy (VB), others are not! If you can get 90, you are good. The question is, are you an Acronym Guru? Can you get all 100?

The list:

VBADOVSABPC
VIIISVSIPCDO
VSDHTMLWCSDKDTL
VFPMDACXMLDLC
ADKB (not kilobyte)ASPDCOM
BTSACTIDLDTS
CSMSVMTSQLDSO
MMCMSDNCHTMLDLL
CMSVSTOEVBDMO
WSHPSDKEVCDBCS
PDBCTSMODEDK
FFCSMSMASMGDI
MMCZAWMISGP
MMSNGWSMSAAHIS
EVTCOMADSIIME
ETKVBACISICS
STLVBSATLIE
WASNTMFCISA
WTEVCMBITSIrDA
WSSVSMCRTJAFC
SSPIOFCMSDELSA
SSDKOSDMSIMCI
SAPISNMPMTSMSMQ
SMOSDOMSVMMAPI
LDAPSBSCSNLBSPPLAT

If you cruise through the 100 acronyms above, here are a few bonus ones (I threw a few easy ones into this list):

  • BCL
  • CIM
  • CLR
  • FCL
  • IL
  • IM
  • JIT
  • OWA
  • WFP
  • WIA
  • WQL

It is also worth pointing out that all of these acronyms are for technical terms or products. Additionally, all were found on Microsoft's sites. Although all have been used within the content found there, this is this kind of Acronym Anarchy that can also be found from other company's as well. If you add companies such as Sun (Java) and IBM, you could create an entirely different set of acronyms. Throw in the work done by standards groups such as W3C, ANSI, ISO, and ECMA (yes, acronyms for names!), and the acronyms start flying everywhere!

It is no wonder that a lot of programming languages use single letters or symbols in their names. How else can developers keep from confusing them with all these other terms!

Did I mention J2ME, J2EE, JDO, JRO, StAX, WML, WAP, GIF, CSS, DHTML, ...

You will find the expanded acronyms on the following pages is in alphabetical order, based on the acronym.





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