PIN Numbers

When I was a kid, I collected brand names that were also generics (I’m all that’s left of a very bizarre childhood).   Among my prizes were

  • Frisbee
  • Yoyo
  • Bandaid
  • Slinky
  • Scotch Tape
  • Xerox
  • Google

you get the idea

(Okay, we didn’t have the last one or I’d be a lot richer)

Yesterday,after passing a sign that said “ATM Machine,” my daughter and I started a small collections of acronym redundancies. Here’s our starter list, you are invited to add more


ATM Machine

PIN  Number

SALT Talks

SAT Test

SQL Language

CD Rom Disk (a variant)

GIF Format (and if you are over 40 that is pronounced with a soft g, but if you are under 40 or a designer, a hard g)

You are invited to contribute as you run across more.

And while you’re at it, let’s create a full list of the recursive acronyms, such as GNU, LAME, PHP… Those are fun too.

About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects and is the author of 2 dozen books and a couple dozen Pluralsight & LinkedIn Learning courses. He was a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP.
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10 Responses to PIN Numbers

  1. Mike Brown says:

    @Ray Shuman
    Yes…my aunt used to call them Frigidaires. Here’s another few for the first list

    Aspirin (which Bayer lost the brand rights to because they didn’t defend it so I guess it technically doesn’t belong)
    Skidoo (although to be fair…does anyone else make a jet ski?)

    For the RAS Syndrome how about
    RIA App
    HSN Network
    Interstate I-65

  2. Bogdan says:

    What about WP7 Phone? 🙂

  3. Simon Morton says:

    Percent APR

  4. Ray Shuman says:

    Oh, and a few years ago I taught my wife the recursive acronym Mung:
    She teaches it to her elementary school art class. When someone futzes with their project too long, the other kids start chanting, “No munging! No munging!”

    And then there’s Hofstadter’s Law…

  5. Ray Shuman says:

    A couple of vintage entries:
    – Frigidaire used to be in the first list.
    – DMZ Zone used to be in the second.

  6. Dave says:

    DVD Disk
    NTFS File System

  7. herzmeister der welten says:

    LCD Display

  8. Bazza says:

    …and you can add Hoover to your first list (though this is more of a UK thing I guess)

  9. Jeff says:

    Always wondered the proper name for acronyms like this, there is a nice list of recursive acronyms on Wikipedia

    To add to your redundant list,
    CSS Style Sheets.

  10. Bazza says:

    I think your AcroRedundancies are what is also known as PNS syndrome (expands to “personal identification number number syndrome syndrome”).
    See wikipedia
    So stealing from there you could add to your list…
    – CSS Style Sheets
    – SMS Message

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