Russia Donates Cyrillic Characters To Alleviate Acronym Shortage

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, January 29, 2005

from the esr-and-rms-unavailable-for-comment dept.

In an international gesture of goodwill, the Russian government announced last week that it will help fight the worsening SAS (Severe Acronym Shortage) by donating several Cyrillic characters, with more on the way.

"The acronym shortage could devastate the world economy if action is not taken soon," said a Russian government official. "The only solution is to increase the size of the alphabet available for acronyms."

The Blartner Group has been warning about the impending ASC (Acronym Shortage Crisis) since 2002. "Most acronyms are written by English speakers limited to a paltry 26-letter alphabet," Blort Blartner explained. "It's no surprise that ANCs (Acronym Namespace Collisions) are occuring at a rapidly increasing rate. This will place a huge burden on the IT industry by hindering communication, potentially leading to a rupture of the very fabric of the entire GE (Global Econony, not General Electric)."

In a recent survey by the American Association Against Acronym Abuse (AAAAA), 73% of people in computer-related fields admitted that they "had created an acronym within the last year that wasn't really necessary." Shockingly, 5% of participants acknowledged that they "might suffer an addiction to stringing new acronyms together as a form of entertainment."

Said the AAAAA chairwoman, "Russia's bold move will help to disambiguate some acronyms, but it doesn't solve the root problem: the AN (Acronym Namespace) is simply too polluted by UACs (Unnecessary Acronym Creators). IMHO, this situation will require drastic measures, such as the creation of an AEPB (Acronym Environmental Protection Bureau)."

However, the founder of the rival CNP (Coalition for Namespace Purity) argued, "Adding another bureaucracy never works. The new office will simply create a whole new regime of acronyms, such as requiring companies to submit an ACRF (Acronym Creation Request Form) and an EISFAC (Environment Impact Study For Acronym Creation) in the hopes of receiving an AACP (Approved Acronym Creation Permit)."

Last month, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) formally adopted RFC 10523, which will require all future RFCs to limit new acronyms to one per document. "If a namespace collision in unavoidable," the RFC states, "then an attempt must be made to recycle obsolete acronyms first. If that fails, then the new acronym must undergo NSD (Numeric Suffix Disambiguation). For instance, Xtreme Programming should be called 'XP-1' in order to avoid confusion with Microsoft's Xceptionally Pathetic operating system (Windows XP)."

"The IETF needs to take full responsibility for the entire zoo of questionable acronyms that have been created by RFCs over the last decades," said one IETF participant. "It is imperative that we reuse archaic acronyms like 'UUCP' and 'ARCHIE' and assign them more productive meanings."

It isn't just the computer industry that faces a threat from the acronym shortage. The USAF (United States Air Force) has probably created more new acronyms than another other institution in history.

"This is no laughing matter," said a USAF PAO (Public Affairs Officer). "Last year we nearly suffered an SSS (Significant Security Situation) when an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) was mistaken for an MRE (Massive Radioactive Explosive). This kind of problem could prove catastrophic in a combat situation."

The PAO added, "The Pentagon has already launched an ARC (Acronym Review Committee) to weed out ORAs (Obsolete or Redundant Acronyms). In addition, the entire US military will now encourage of the use of abbreviations instead of acronyms for CritOps (Critical Operations) and StratInts (Strategic Initiatives). While we appreciate the help offered by the Russian government, we believe we can solve this problem without the need to outsource our language."

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