Saturday 15 March 2014

More Real Ale than Champagne

Barnaby has been thinking about TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms). What set him wondering, was a punctuation query. Should a TLA have full stops after each letter to denote the abbreviation?
The answer appears to be that there is no definitive answer. Some common acronyms such as a.m. and p.m., or A.D. and B.C. are commonly, but not invariably, written with full stops, as is G.I. and C.D.. Whereas BBC and NATO are usually written without. O.K. is apparently OK written either way.
Plurals present another difficulty. Should it be C.D.'s or CDs? Once again there seems to be no definitive answer. Perhaps it's simply a matter of preference? The recent explosive growth in the use of abbreviations and acronyms due to the widespread adoption of Text Speak has led to innumerable new examples, almost entirely without the full stop or apostrophe. Is this bad grammar, or progress? Probably neither, is Barnaby's conclusion, simply fashion.
Barnaby has resolved, therefore, to drop the use of the full stop in his writing when used as a separator in acronyms. From this point forth it will no longer be O.K., OK, but OK. Thus Detective Chief Inspector Webb, from the Mercedes Drew Mystery series, will henceforth be DCI Webb and Dogtooth, from the same series, will be known as DT. Of course, if you read the full series, you will undoubtedly find that Barnaby (who will henceforth be known in text speak as BW) has used both the full stop and the apostrophe with some inconsistency, for which he humbly craves your indulgence. Actually, he's hoping that you'll be so wrapped up in the stories, that you won't even notice the punctuation. (You can find the whole Mercedes Drew Mystery series at of course, along with all BW's other e-books and paperbacks).

The following verse was penned by BW a few years back when he also found himself pondering acronyms of the two, three, four and even five letter kind. He hopes that even if the verse doesn't make you LOL, it might at least make you smile.

More Real Ale than Champagne
I’m more MFI than Amalfi.
I’m more BHS than Biarritz.
I’m more M and S than Mauritius.
I’m more C and A than Cadiz.
I’m more HGV than Ferrari.
I’m more VPL than lace thong.
I’m more G and T than Campari.
I’m more R and B than folk song.
I’m not AOP nor yet YUPPIE,
Neither DINKY nor NIMBY nor bum.
I’m an ‘A’ OK sort of chappie.
A VGSOH sort of chum.
I’m more B and B than the Hilton.
I’m more H2O than old port.
I’m more OTT with a kilt on.
I’m more BBC than Sky Sport.
I’m more G and S than Puccini.
I’m more DIY than bespoke.
I’m more KFC than linguini.
Yes, …  I’m an ‘A’ OK kind of bloke.
I’m not RIP yet, nor baby,
And I’m not as PC as I should.
I could do with more TLC maybe.
(Make it ASAP if you could).
 Copyright BW (Nov 2003)

No comments:

Post a Comment