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#194995 - 12/14/10 07:04 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
Faldage Offline
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When an acronym (or initialism) becomes commonly used it gets applied to other things than the thing it originally meant. That's kind of a awkward way of saying it, but an example would be something like USB bus, where the B in USB means 'bus'. You can also have USB connectors, or USB cables so saying USB all by itself is kind of missing something. In this case I would maintain that the redundancy of USB bus adds something to the understandability of the term. The same is true of ATM machine, since you can have ATM cards. Other so-called pleonasms such as PIN number clear up any ambiguity with 'pin' or even, in some dialects, 'pen'.

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#194996 - 12/14/10 08:10 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
Jackie Offline

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Ah, but if you just say ATM, everybody knows you mean the machine.

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#195005 - 12/15/10 06:35 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: Jackie]
Faldage Offline
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Well, depending on the context. On the other hand, if you say ATM machine everyone knows what you mean, too. I'm just saying that if you say ATM card you've divorced the initialism just that little bit away from the literal expansion. ATM starts to stand for the whole complex of which the machine is just one part.

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#195007 - 12/15/10 06:50 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: Faldage]
zmjezhd Offline
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What is the inherent problem with pleonasms? In the ATM case (which I originally learned as an initialism for Asynchronous Transfer Mode) nobody would say automated teller machine machine (except jocularly), but something in a person's language instinct drives them to say ATM machine. It could be as Faldo suggests to try and resolve some possible ambiguity, which case works well for PIN. Sometimes a redundancy is just a redundancy.
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#195010 - 12/15/10 07:28 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: zmjezhd]
bexter Offline
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Registered: 11/17/10
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We don't seem to have the ATM machine problem over here...cash machine is used instead...I remember when I first heard the ATM acronym used by a Canadian friend who needed to get some money from one and looking stupidly at her wondering how she would go about getting money from Air Traffic Management before she explained that her ATM acronym stood for Automated Teller Machine...
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#195012 - 12/15/10 09:39 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: zmjezhd]
tsuwm Offline
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>Sometimes a redundancy is just a redundancy.

and sometimes it really isn't needed (context). you're standing next to the teller's window in a bank, wanting to withdraw some cash (say you can't abide the ATMs (cash machines) in the lobby), and he asks you to enter your PIN into his little PIN-receptor device. do you do as he asks, or do you stare at him in total befuddlement? only once, at most, I wager.
-ron o.

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#195050 - 12/15/10 09:12 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: tsuwm]
zmjezhd Offline
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do you do as he asks, or do you stare at him in total befuddlement? only once, at most, I wager.

It's hard to say. PIN number may have changed its meaning in contexts other than this. It might be that a bank employee might say "enter your PIN" at that point. I believe I have heard that in the wild, but i could be wrong.
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#195055 - 12/15/10 10:28 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: zmjezhd]
olly Offline
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Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 956
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
(I believe I have heard that in the wild, but i could be wrong.

The little EFTPOS machines visually ask you to enter your PIN. So someone has knowingly discarded the redundancy.

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#195060 - 12/15/10 11:46 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: zmjezhd]
tsuwm Offline
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at my bank, when you make a deposit (say checks), and you want some cash back, the human teller usually says "enter your PIN, please."

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#195072 - 12/16/10 08:20 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: olly]
zmjezhd Offline
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So someone has knowingly discarded the redundancy.

Yes, but it's probably because the peevers have raised a stink. Who knows what folks say when they're off the job and talking about ATM PINs.
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