Wednesday, May 05, 2004

TLA Hell Books: Ask the DustI'm worried... yes, worried... about acronym overlap. Three-letter-acronyms (TLAs) are propagating so fast that overlap is not only inevitable... it's already happened in every sector of life. Consider the following "identical" TLAs. Not only are they in the same genus, say, "Computer Software and Networking", but they're also in the same species ("Information Security"):

MAC - mandatory access control
MAC - media access control (e.g., "MAC address")
MAC - message authentication code

There are probably a few more MACs in the ballgame as well. Confusing, eh? How do we remedy this situation? I recommend FLAs for all technology-related subjects. Four-letter-acronyms. Let's say we just ask for... no, demand, that all TLAs are converted to FLAs. And that any new acronyms are FLAs. For instance:

MAAC - mandatory access control (pronounced: may-ack)
MACA - media access control (pr: mack-ah)
MEAC - message authentication code (pr: mee-ack)

Couldn't be simpler, eh? ;-) And the penalty for non-compliance? Anyone found violating the TLA rule must create an index of all existing TLAs. The only problem: we have to get everyone off of saying "TLA" or "FLA" because... what happens when we get to "five-letter-acronym"?

Ah, a meta-overlap!

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