031:336 Abbreviations

Some questions to ponder…

Why isn’t palindrome an example of itself?
Who was Mr. (or Mrs.) Eponyomous?
What are the two words that make up portmanteau?
Why does antonym have an antonym but synonym has no synonym?
Why are trionym and polyonym only composed of two words?
What word did retronym replace?
Why does onomotapeia have a silent vowel?
Why does alliteration have only one repeating syllablle?
Why is adjective a noun?
Would the Vietnamese author Myna Na be able to use an ananym?
Why isn’t verb an action word?
Why is caconym so ill-suited for its purpose?
Why is there only one word that is pronounced like homophone?
What is a sentence without a simile like?
What is the hidden meaning behind euphemism?
Why doesn’t acronym stand for anything?
How do sufferers of sesquipedalophobia identify their malady?

And finally…

Why is abbreviation such a long word?

And speaking of abbreviations (dear heavens, that was a long lead-in!), I have this tale from my youth that my parents share.

This is their story about me.

I could read at an early age. Apparently, at this young tender age, I could read out loud before I could speak.

So my parents could put a book in front of me and I could read the text, but I would not utter a sentence on my own.

At some point, I grew out of that and began to speak my own thoughts, but my love and fascination of reading stuck with me.

There, however, was one aspect of reading that I could not wrap my head around.

One day (and I’ll put my age here around four or five), while in the car with my parents, I began to become agitated as I read a sign that I could not understand.

“Rick-ah”, I began. “Rick-ah, Rick-ah, what does it mean?”

My parents tried in vain to comprehend what it was that I was trying to sound out but to no avail. It was only on the trip back, when I again began to shout out “Rick-ah” again that they saw the sign that was the source of my consternation.

We were passing a building with a billboard advertising products made by RCA.

My parents then realized that I was pronouncing the initialism that represented the Radio Corporation of America as a single word (“Rick-ah”) instead of saying the letters individually (“R…C…A”).

This would be a problem that I would vex my parents with for some time as I would ask why the speed limit sign said “Thirty mmmph” instead of “Thirty miles per hour”.

I would also make the occasional request to eat at “Carl’s Jrrr” instead of “Carl’s Junior.”

I don’t know when my mind made the mental connection that a string of letters should not be taken literally and could represent a larger word (i.e., CA for “California”, R.S.V.P for “Répondez s’il vous plait” (Respond, if you please),  etc. for “etcetera”, etc. ), but I’m sure that my parents were glad that I did.

That’s their story about me.

P.S. (which is not pronounced psss, by the way) There was a time when I once had to go dumpster diving at a Carl’s Jr., but that’s a story for another day.

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