back to article BOFH: It's Friday, it's time to RTFM

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "Just wanting to know if you've got the answers to the RFIs on our RFP – as we need them ASAP," the Boss says, practicing his acronyms. "The RFIs for the RFP?" the PFY says. "You never said you needed them PDQ. I emailed the vendor for clarification but they were either AFK or AWOL so I …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

    Just asking.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. Anonymous Custard
      Unhappy

      Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

      From what I gathered, there was a parting of the ways a month or so ago.

      But you can still get your fix at his site - https://autosaveisforwimps.substack.com/

      I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments though, the weekend preparation isn't the same without our fix of something for it.

      Bring him back!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

        "But you can still get your fix at his site - https://autosaveisforwimps.substack.com/ "

        And having been over there a couple weeks back, it looked like there may be a post every few weeks or even months. But since he's no longer submitting to El Reg, he seems to be doing exactly the same style on a weekly basis now. Actually more so in terms of style. The double entendres are back, which seemed to be lacking ion recent El Reg submissions.

        He also explains in the comments on this weeks article why and what went on with El Reg, ie not much.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Now you know

        Straight from the horse's mouth for those who want to know, and may agree to disagree and suggest a wrong is easily righted in the light of the evidence that there is definitely a greater unknown good out there fully appreciative of the greater alternative AI and IT side for El Reg to uncover and cover.

        SFTW started out as a little bit of fun thought up by my friend Bob Dormon who was in charge of reviews and weekend features at The Reg at the time; we had previously been freelance colleagues at MacUser magazine. That it lasted a decade surprised nobody more than me. The Reg felt it was time to move on. There's nothing sinister about that. I don't think it was a fabulously well-read column: very few readers shared it on social media (many thanks to the handful that did on a regular basis!), and I imagine it was difficult to sell ad space on it. .... Alistair Dabbs https://autosaveisforwimps.substack.com/p/she-was-so-many-things-to-so-many/comments

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Now you know

          shares on social media seem like a super tone deaf way of measuring engagement on a site like El Reg that seems to attract a rather "anti-social (media)" crowd. Looking at the comments in the Regs own comment system seems like a much more accurate metric and in that regard in terms of reader engagement I think SFTWS was one of the top columns after the BOFH.

          El Reg seems to have lost it's irreverent, rebellious touch over the years and it feels like it's trying to walk the straight and narrow of being just another tech publication. Which imho makes it lose all added value as that makes it just yet another tech publication.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now you know

            The new cooperate overlord, is from California. unfortunately all they actually care about is social media. makes sense why its the new metric. its stupid. but I understand why its happening.

    2. oiseau
      WTF?

      Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

      Hello:

      == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

      Yes.

      WTF is he?

      Why is his regular column not being published?

      Why hasn't ElReg said nothing?

      Not at all happy with this ...

      O.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

        Let's see if this works...

        He can be seen at https://autosaveisforwimps.substack.com/

        Another link for my lunchbreak reading.

        1. ConsumedByFire

          Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

          One less reason to read ElReg if Dabbsy has gone.

          How long is it til the mgmnt part ways with BOFH one wonders. Anything that gets too popular seems to get dropped it seems :-(

          1. Blackjack Silver badge

            Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

            BOFH is one of the most read things on this site.

            That being said, this dose of BOFH was extremely tame. No one died, the Boss didn't get taken away by paramedics, and no one lost money.

        2. ConsumedByFire
          Pint

          Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

          As for the this weeks BOFH ... Too many TLAs :-)

          1. ConsumedByFire

            Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

            Seems like ElReg may have too many PHBs.

            Whats going on guys? We're a loyal readership but we seem to find out about personnel changes by the grapevine rather than by editorials. Sort your selves out or I need to update my favourites.

            And how about an editorial? A broadsheet daily has one . .

            1. ConsumedByFire

              Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

              I notice also . . . hmmmm . . . . how to express this.

              So the branding used to be "The Register - Biting the Hand that feeds IT". I can't see the Biting the hand bit anyomore. Whats going on PHBs in ElReg world. Have you sold out?

              Have you sold out?

              1. EnviableOne

                Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

                Its more nibbling on the crumbs IT feeds it. now

                ElReg used to pick justifiable holes in everyone and have a reasonable amount of scepticism, rather than swallowing down marketing speak.

          2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

            A fair few FLAs too.

            Sorry I'm Iate, I was doing something a bit... errr out there.

            Meeting friends IRL.

            1. jonathan keith
              Headmaster

              Re: Where is my beloved "SFTW" chronicle?

              "FLAs"? My understanding is that the correct technical terminology is "ETLAs"...

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Change the acronyms and that's my office.

    So many needless acronyms and all one has to turn away for a moment and the damn things go forth and multiply.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Years back my then boss returned from a meeting with the big guns in the Town Hall. Nervously told us we couldn't say, let alone write in an email, the word "Thousand" any more. We had to say "K". Sometimes the fuckwittery reaches legendary levels.

      1. ttlanhil

        Did someone miss hear "thou sand" and think they were being called a beach?

        1. Flightmode
          Pint

          Occasionally, you see someone make a comment so elaborate and exquisite in its simplicity that you just want to look inside their brain to see what made it happen. You've made my day. Magnificent. Thank you.

      2. Ozan

        I used K for thousand and M for million in emails for years. One day big boss asked me about them (While everybody used it, he asked me because he sure hated my guts). I explained K for kilo and M is for mega and they come from SI units.

        1. Death Boffin

          When M doesn't mean what you think it means

          That works until you run into someone who uses M to mean thousand. It is MMXXII after all.

          1. Anonymous Custard
            Joke

            Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

            Yes, but what have the Romans ever done for us?

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

            "That works until you run into someone who uses M to mean thousand."

            Have you met our new Secretary of State for business, energy and industrial strategy?

            1. BebopWeBop
              Trollface

              Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

              bad luck. He's not ours

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

            when I was younger, years were counted from the date a new sovereign accessed his throne, so we are in year I.

            1. O RLY

              Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

              Sure, that makes sense. The North Koreans still use a date system based on the birth of Kim Il Sung.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juche_calendar

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juche_calendar

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

              "years were counted from the date a new sovereign accessed his throne"

              That was certainly how a lot of legal documents were dated so you need to know on what date in the year the accession fell. An entire published volume of the Wakefield Manorial Rolls has a classic off-by-one error, presumably by misinterpreting that.

          4. PRR Silver badge

            Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

            > uses M to mean thousand. It is MMXXII after all.

            Yes, and US electronics schematics used M=1000 all through the 1930s; WE and a couple music-amplifier companies well into the 1950s. Some of that gear is well beloved in Hi-Fi or guitar-amp crowds. Post-1950 eyes look at those plans and the first reaction is "That's all wrong!"

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

              Didn't they also used to use "m" for microfarads for a while? ISTR some funky old schematics that were off by three orders if magnitude.

              1. NITS

                Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

                Back in the Day, at least in West Pondia, 1 mfd was a microfarad, 1 mmfd was a picofarad (pronounced "mickey-mike"). The unit of conductance was the mho. Tuning dials were calibrated in kilocycles and megacycles. And schematics had wires hopping over each other so as not to look connected.

              2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

                m for mill (10^-3) and µ for micro (10^-6). But context is everything… Mines the one with a box of 10M Farad capacitors in the pocket!

        2. Justin Case
          Windows

          SI units say K is for Kelvin, k is for kilo.

          Uppercase for units based on people's names.

          Uppercase for prefixes M and above, lowercase for prefixes k and below.

          So, you were in fact mishtaken and not half as clever as you think!

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Custard
            Boffin

            Be careful - you're comparing units and multipliers there.

            Kelvin is a unit, but kilo is a multiplier (1000x).

            In SI units, 1000K could be written as 1kK for example - although I admit that does look weird.

            "Kilo" in common parlance is shorthand for kilogram (as in "a kilo of spuds" for example) - kilo is the multiplier but gram is the unit.

            k is something of an oddity overall though, as it doesn't have a fractional equivalent (such as m being x1/1000th and M being x1000 for example) to require the case distinction.

            1. Anonymous Custard
              Pint

              M as x1000000 rather, not x1000

              That'll teach me for typing it on my phone and missing the 10 minute editing time-out.

              Is it time for these yet? ------>

            2. TRT Silver badge

              mK.

              Drugs are bad.

            3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Just sit back and admire "km" and think of all the things it could stand for!

              1. tezboyes

                KMFDM and their alt MDFMK

            4. tezboyes

              And on occasion K = 1024, k = 1000.

          3. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

            what about L for liter?

            1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

              I've always used l for liter, but both l and L are valid. It's not an SI unit so the convention doesn't apply.

              1. Colonel Mad

                I use one of those to spark a fag.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Sometimes the fuckwittery reaches legendary levels."

        I remember a friend who worked at a university telling me about a memo that went round banning people from introducing their wives as "my wife" at faculty "do's" because "my" implies "ownership".

        1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

          I remember a friend who worked at a university telling me about a memo that went round banning people from introducing their wives as "my wife" at faculty "do's" because "my" implies "ownership".

          Presumably this met with approval from the kind of person who routinely refers to their female spouse as 'the wife'.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          SWMBO would kill me on sight if I failed to admit ownership! Of course, we really know who owns whom!

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      I once worked for a company that replicated their acronyms in job ads. Not even I, as an employee, understood this manure.

    3. Horst U Rodeinon
      Unhappy

      ACRONYM is NOT an acronym

      Several decades ago, I went to work at a US military contractor. One of their documents was an acronym decoder which contained, I kid you not,

      "ACRONYM - Abbreviated Coded Rendition Of Name Yielding Meaning."

      I have never been able to delete that twaddle from memory.

      1. Totally not a Cylon
        Alert

        Re: ACRONYM is NOT an acronym

        Ahhh, the fabled bacronym; pick a word and then force the title of something to fit....

        Normally found lurking in DC waiting to ambush an unsuspecting 'carbon based lifeform'

        1. Irony Deficient

          an unsuspecting ‘carbon based lifeform’

          Surely an unsuspecting CaBaL?

        2. tezboyes

          Re: ACRONYM is NOT an acronym

          Yeah I, and I suspect many round here, have worked with various systems named that way.

          Also some with really poor names once you realise the acronym - DPS being one of the most bland I've had the mispleasure of.

          (Data Processing System)

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: ACRONYM is NOT an acronym

        While it's not amusing, I think that was put in there as an attempt by whatever person got the task of assembling that list to include something slightly interesting or humorous. The over-acronymization of things somehow manages to make everything sound stupid or unpleasant.

        I worked at a company which was very dependent on acronyms without reason. They had at least three acronyms for "when will it be done": ETA, EDA, and ECD, though I wouldn't be surprised that they had more which I either didn't see or have managed to forget. But that wasn't enough, because they also had the acronyms EDD and DFAD ("expected date for date" and "date for a date", because they found saying "When will you know the timeline" too difficult as well. These were just some of the stupidest ones they had, but they had a list of several hundred acronyms on a wiki page just in case you wanted to bore yourself into a coma.

    4. Denarius Silver badge

      Merkin Outsoucery company meetings were like this. Are they still infested by PHBs ?

      1. tezboyes

        Player Handbooks ?

    5. Jesthar

      Not only do they multipy, but they can turn on their masters too. I run a monthly report known as the MONARCH report (because it is the One Report To Rule Them All, and I couldn't get away with using MORDOR ;) ).

      I named the thing and it had a definite clever meaning, but after ten years even I can't remember what it stands for, only that the MON was short for 'Monthly.'

      Of course, it still pays dividends - when we needed some secondary reports, they naturally became known as the Prince of Wales report (PoW), and then the Duke of Cambridge (DoC)... We did draw the line at Princess Beatrice, though!

      1. el_oscuro
        Devil

        Here on the other side of the pond, I tried to name a new admin program "Application Security System", but got shot down by manglement. A few years later, me and a co-worker tried to form a new company called "BAMF Consulting", but that was shot down too.

        1. tezboyes

          City University of Newcastle upon Tyne

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Monarchy

        Prince Charlie is now C3PO - Charles the 3rd, Palace Occupant.

        1. tezboyes

          Re: Monarchy

          Damn, well done, I've been trying to get that to fit for a few days. Best I'd come up with was Prince Of.

  3. s. pam Silver badge
    FAIL

    I need some THC

    or LSD after that meaningless drivel Simon

    PS> our company has multiple wiki pages full of acronyms :(

    1. Tom 7

      Re: I need some THC

      At least on a wiki you have the option of clicking on the acronym to get to a page explaining it in detail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I need some THC

        Assuming that whoever wrote the wiki in the first place implemented it and not just assumed that everybody knows what the acronym means,

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: I need some THC

          As someone who has occasionally attempted to use a page like that, I can guarantee that whatever page you need is 404. That is just the way things work.

      2. Alistair
        Windows

        Re: I need some THC

        We had a spreadsheet.

        It was searchable, and could be updated by the team.

        Something close to 1100 rows when I last updated it.

        Buried in there were some *very* NSFW acronyms. Nobody knew.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I need some THC

          "Buried in there were some *very* NSFW acronyms. Nobody knew."

          "Somebody" knew. I guarantee it.

        2. Blackwind

          Re: I need some THC

          We were coming up with 'new' acronyms for fun, and I was in a bit of a bad mood due to a major network vendor pushing their new video conferehce equipment - which was no better than what we currently had deployed - so I came up with an acronym for 'completely useless new technology', which is kinda funnier on this side of the Atlantic, just the way 'shag' isn't. (I recall shag carpet being a big thing in the 70s, I often wondered what Brits thought we were doing with it)

    2. Disk0

      Re: I need some THC

      Also, nobody stepped on the pressure plate that activates the pneumatic equipment lifter which arguaby could do with some fine tuning given that the initial impulse is enough to send a midsized telco rack into the drop ceiling. For reference, a midsize telco rack weighs about as much as the average boss after lunch.

    3. Jesthar

      Re: I need some THC

      We have one of those somewhere on our intranet - or used to, haven't seen it in a while... We are a specialist industry, so it kind of makes sense - we may as well be speaking Klingon sometimes as far as outsiders are concerned.

      I do recall one time we moved into a new building when the managers running the orientation session proudly decreed than this building was to be an 'acronym free zone', and we were to use the full and proper terms for everything from now on and correct anyone who forgot. I only remember this as I got corrected by one of them in the meeting for saying PPE rather than Personal Protective Equipment at some point.

      Reality, of course, mean the edict never survived us all leaving the room ;)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm most concerned by the fact there was only one of them I had to work out the meaning of - the rest are all familiar :-(

  5. Anonymous Custard
    Headmaster

    Intelligence?

    They're obviously ex-employees of Intel.

    They're the only company I know of who have to have a (semi-official) dictionary for all the acronyms they insist on using, just so people coming in may have a vague chance of understanding a little.

    For example, they insist we (vendor contractors) used only the top level of the MLCP, whereas of course anyone else would just tell you to use the top floor of (multi-level) car park to put park your car...

    1. Andrew Yeomans

      IBM Jargon dictionary

      See https://comlay.net/ibmjarg.pdf

      1. FeRDNYC

        Re: IBM Jargon dictionary

        I'm rather disappointed that the (SIXTY-FIVE PAGE!!!) IBM dictionary even contains a facetious — and different from Horst's version — example expansion of ACRONYM ("A Convenient Reduction Of Nomenclature, Yielding Mnemonic Syllables"), but it doesn't define or acknowledge "backronym".

        Oxford Dictionaries "traced the word backronym to a 1983 letter from Meredith G Williams in 'The Washington Post'" (according to The Independent), so it'd almost definitely been making the rounds by 1990.

    2. Ol'Peculier

      Re: Intelligence?

      Spend 5 minutes digging around the AWS menus and your head will be hurting...

    3. Joe W Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Intelligence?

      Intel has an acronym-dictionary? Well... so do we...

      Yes. I know.

      ----> need that

    4. oiseau
      Facepalm

      Re: Intelligence?

      Intelligence?

      No.

      It is not intelligence.

      It is being an illiterate DH with dried birdshit for brains.

      And maybe not even that, maybe just a vacuum.

      O.

      1. Patched Out

        Re: Intelligence?

        DH. Designated Hitter? Dunder Head?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Intelligence?

          It's an abbreviation. The full version is RH.

          1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

            Re: Intelligence?

            I thought it was RC

        2. oiseau
          Facepalm

          Re: Intelligence?

          DH. Designated Hitter? Dunder Head?

          Hmm ..

          No.

          DH => dickhead => knobhead

          Also: testa-di-cazzo in Italian; con in French

          O.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Intelligence?

            Although con in French, technically, refers to female genitalia.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intelligence?

      Our R&D people used to run an acronym database on a spare area of one of their servers that got discovered by those outside of R&D and grew so popular that it eventually got rebuilt as a wiki that allowed anybody in the company to explain terms as well as acronyms.

      Unfortunately the bean counters got wind of it and as it had no owners, business case, costings, ISO compliance documentation, etc, it had to be removed from the company intranet.

      And manglement still insist on sending out missives referring to KPIs, CoEs and the latest EBITDA, expecting us mere plebs to understand

    6. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Intelligence?

      Intel's not the only one. One large company that my employer does work for has a whole dictionary of acronyms. Including it's own definition of long since established things like EXE or PDF.

      1. Anonymous Custard
        Pint

        Re: Intelligence?

        The problem is in Intel it's almost become a language all of its own.

        Reading Simon's article was just like reading a transcript of far too many meetings I've been in with them over the years. The only difference is Simon is quite funny with it...

        I need a few of these now to clear the mental palette of that thought ----->

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Re: Intelligence?

        In Unix systems of old there was an app for that : "wtf". On some *nix systems it is still installed by default although it tends to be more like a personnal dic than a shared one. Shared definitions these days seem to be "shared" on platforms such as Sharepoint because they have the uncontestable advantage of not being searchable in any meaningful way which allows every branch (and in many cases, every team) in the same organisation to have different definition for the same term / acronym. Sometimes several per team. We live in a wonderful world.

      3. tezboyes

        Re: Intelligence?

        Is EXE an acronym?

    7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Intelligence?

      "They're obviously ex-employees of Intel."

      Or NASA. :-)

    8. Dafyd Colquhoun

      Re: Intelligence?

      Boeing has so many acronyms (and multiple definitions for the same acronym) that there is a dedicated internal website: TermBank.

  6. Julian 8 Silver badge

    ameol

    need my acronym plugin from Ameol

  7. John Riddoch

    Oh, dear...

    I found that far too readable... Obviously been at this game far too long!

    1. Persona

      Re: Oh, dear...

      Yeah. I read it top to bottom without even a smile. First time I've don't that with a BOFH episode. Twice in the past I've needed a new keyboard.

  8. UCAP Silver badge

    This brought back nightmare memories ...

    ... of certain meetings that involved a considerable military presence. I quickly discovered that the different service branches love to outdo each other constructing the most obscure and gut-wrenchingly difficult TLAs and ETLAs, creating new ones PDQ when required. Definitely OTT and a complete PITA.

    1. Shooter

      Re: This brought back nightmare memories ...

      I remember reading about a young officer at his first posting who had written a report chock full of TLAs.

      His superior promptly returned it to his desk with the letters "UNA" scrawled across every page.

      Perplexed, the young officer asked what UNA stood for.

      "Use No Abbreviations", came the reply!

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Happy

    "Acronym vertigo"

    Nice phrase

    I must say I was half expecting the SEP field from the HHGTTG to make an appearance

  10. chivo243 Silver badge
    Boffin

    So...

    The BOFH and The PFY are TCB and listening to BTO?

    Thank ya Darlin' Thank ya very much!

    Extra points for knowing the TCB reference to the KORR

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: So...

      You ain't seen nothing yet!

      B.b.baby you just ain't seen nothing yet

  11. GlenP Silver badge

    RDD & PDD

    We had considerable confusion over whether RDD and PDD were EXW or DAP.

    Don't think it was ever resolved.

  12. juice

    LOL

    Is it time to go old school and bring the roflcopter back?

    (Also: do [pre] tags work here? Time to find out...)

    ROFL:ROFL:ROFL:ROFL

    _^___

    L __/ [] \

    LOL===__ \

    L \________]

    I I

    --------/

    1. Swarthy

      Re: LOL

      Sadly, the pre tag let you down. Just as well, or I'd be tempted to post "Killroy" a lot, and who knows what other ascii art would flood these forums.

  13. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    What does IKEA stand for? Never seen that one...

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: unknown XTLA

      Ingvar Kamprad - founder

      Elmtaryd - farm where he was born

      Agunnaryd - nearby village

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and when did someone decide we were all saying it wrong when we had just been repeating the pronunciation from the ads

      You called it i-key-ah and ness-ells and sko-da... now you're telling us we should be calling the ik-ee-ah, nes-lay and sh-coda!

      1. nagyeger

        Milky bars are on that guy over there.

        Yep. "ness-ells" certainly used to be good enough for the TV adds when I was a lad. "The milky-bar kid is strong and tough...[etc] ness-ell's Milky Bar!"

        I don't know when they changed their style.

        1. Anonymous Custard
          Headmaster

          Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

          When the world grew small enough that you could hear Swedish, Swiss and Czech accents from here...?

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

            That would be round about when the English learned about accented vowels and started pronouncing "caff" properly. That is, not yet, in some circles.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

              I'm nearly 60 and grew up in a staunchly Labour working class Geordie area full of pits and shipyards. It was only when Eastenders came to TV that I first heard a Cafe pronounced as "caff" and went "WTF?"

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

              Yes and no. When I was a kid ( in Manchester) cafe was pronounced "kaffy", not "kaf" or "kayf".

        2. Diogenes

          Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

          I went to primary school with the original Australian Milky Bar kid. And yes the Milky Bars were on him, at least for a few weeks (a perk of the job).

          Then there is the place names affectation, such as Budapesht(Budapest) , Firenze(Florence), Roma, but people give you funny look when you pronounce German place names properly - Humburg not Haamberg.

          1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

            Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

            You should try living in Wales!

            1. Potty Professor
              Megaphone

              Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

              I always have to spell the village where I live out phonetically, because no two people, even the Welsh locals, pronounce it the same.

              Lima Lima Yankee November Charlie Lima Yankee Sierra.

              Pronunciation is impossible for an Englishman, sounds like I'm clearing my throat.

              1. nowster

                Re: Milky bars are on that guy over there.

                That's the only irregular bit about Welsh orthography: there are two pronunciations of the letter Y. One's a clear "ee" sound and the other is the unclear schwa. Hence Llynclys could be pronounced one of four ways.

      2. Andy A
        Facepalm

        The company I started work with had Nestlé as a customer. Another customer was a financial services company known as "Messells".

        You soon got in the habit of pronouncing it "nes-lay".

      3. herman Silver badge

        Yeah da!

  14. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Pedantic description alert!

    Technically if you say the individual letters, it's an initialism. It's only an acronym if the letters are pronounced as a word. So BOFH is an acronym as you say Bof(silent H), but PFY is an initialism as you say P.F.Y.

    My favourite acronyms are SNAFU and FUBAR. Both have military origins but are still used widely today by us dinosaurs. I don't mind acronyms when they are "natural" but when the Marketing dept. gets involved they manage to create some real monsters, although to be fair most of those are backronyms.

    1. oiseau
      Facepalm

      Re: Pedantic description alert!

      ... but when the Marketing dept. gets involved ...

      Ah, yes ...

      Marketing and their marketing droids, those utterly despicable abortions of nature.

      But we must bear in mind they are not autonomous.

      They are paid to throw all this crap at the company wall and the real problem is that most of it actually sticks.

      If the company wall were to be clean and shiny (as it should be), the marketing crap thrown at it by marketing would not stick and they would be put out the door for being stupid.

      But as the wall is not clean and shiny, the crap sticks, layer upon layer upon layer.

      I know it is Friday (and we do not have Dabbs' column* to read) but I'm sure most of you get the idea/drift/metaphor.

      O.

      * Just where is Dabbs?

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Pedantic description alert!

        Fucking version numbers. If I had a dollar for every predictably awful marketing decision I've had to accept, I'd be on the next note, not your King Charles III.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Pedantic description alert!

          Don't forget that the word "final" must be included in the file name of files. Particularly for the fifth revision of said final document

          1. tezboyes

            Re: Pedantic description alert!

            Yeah, one of those things one learns with experience, and pass on to the newbies ;)

    2. Anonymous Custard
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Pedantic description alert!

      My favourite acronyms are SNAFU and FUBAR. Both have military origins...

      You can tell, as they both include the F.

      A sure sign that the origin is either military or a high school playground these days.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Pedantic description alert!

        either military or a high school

        Having spent time in both, I am not convinced there is a lot of difference but I've been in the NHS a long time now and there are similarities there as well!

      2. Big_Boomer Silver badge

        Re: Pedantic description alert!

        Fragged? Flipped? Finagled? Oh, you mean F***ed! <LOL>

      3. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Pedantic description alert!

        You forgot Bub...

        Barely usable body, old navy term from what I've been told.

        1. KarMann Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Pedantic description alert!

          Almost certainly a folk etymology, as are most claims of acronymic origin for words that've been around a while, cf. 'Fornication Under Consent of King' (Hey, we have one of those again now!). Acronyms have only been in any usage at all for about a century and a half, and only common for about a century, probably since about WW II. But people keep trying to make them up to explain random words that are much, much older than that.

          Either a corruption of brother, a modification of bud, or a borrowing from Pennsylvania German Bub or Southern German Bub (as was spoken in various communities in America before the early 20th century), ultimately thought to be derived from Proto-Germanic *bō- (“close [male] relation”) and thus cognate to English boy and babe.

          1. Irony Deficient

            bub

            On the etymological side, Bube is German for “knave, jack” (the French-suited playing card) and “boy” (in southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), and the earliest citation for this US-origin “bub” in the OED is from 1839 — it is likely a shortening of “bubby”, from the same time period, meaning “boy”, which suggests descent from Bube.

            There are a few obsolete “bub” nouns as well — the earliest came from 16th century Scotland, meaning “storm, blast”.

          2. chivo243 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Pedantic description alert!

            Bub

            Stands for ‘Barely Useful Body.’ Sometimes used in a derogatory manner, but sometimes used to describe someone who’s been injured or physically unable to perform 100 percent. Either way, it hurts the ego.

            https://www.wearethemighty.com/popular/navy-sailor-insults/

        2. Anonymous Custard
          Headmaster

          Re: Pedantic description alert!

          Similar to "berk" in English.

          Quite a common and mild insult to call someone, unless you actually know where it comes from (clue - it's Cockney rhyming slang, full length is Berkshire hunt so you can guess what it actually refers to...).

          Not an acronym I know, but always raises a knowing smile when I hear it used.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Pedantic description alert!

            Lots of new words were (and still are!) created by US broadcast TV as replacements for swear words on the highly censored networks.

            1. tezboyes

              Re: Pedantic description alert!

              Frak is one of my favourites ;)

          2. Andy A
            Flame

            Re: Pedantic description alert!

            There's a long list of words deemed "unparliamentary language", and which would incur the wrath of the Speaker if used in the chamber of the House of Commons.

            For some reason, calling someone "a berk" does not qualify.

            I assume that referring to "a bark" would have caused the origin to be better known.

            1. tezboyes

              Re: Pedantic description alert!

              Saying that half of the opposite bench are crooks is unparliamentary.

              Retracting by saying that half of the opposite bench aren't crooks is legendary.

          3. tezboyes

            Re: Pedantic description alert!

            TBF I generally use the F word to prefix berk ...

            Some years ago we had an Australian working with us. She often used called people twats, in an affectionate way. Until someone told her it was a bad word in England!

        3. herman Silver badge

          Re: Pedantic description alert!

          BUB - almost like TBC used by the cold meat wagon crews - means Total Body Crumble.

      4. herman Silver badge

        Re: Pedantic description alert!

        I like Slovak, because fucked means really, so it is a perfectly acceptable word.

    3. drand

      Re: Pedantic description alert!

      Many a time I have elicited eye-rolls on spouting this bit of fine pedantry. Interestingly though, many dictionaries nowadays don't make the distinction and 'acronym' substitutes for both (even the trusty 1991-edition Pocket Oxford in my desk).

    4. KBeee

      Re: Pedantic description alert!

      My favourite one is from the financial/banking area. LOMBARD.

      (Loads Of Money But A Real Dickhead)

      1. Diogenes

        Re: Pedantic description alert!

        Mine is from the world of Teaching.

        FOCUS - "F... Off Cos U Stupid"

    5. tezboyes

      Re: Pedantic description alert!

      FOADYB

      (which is it ?)

      Personally I use it as an acronym, but ...

  15. disgruntled yank

    IDK

    Is OT for overtime an Americanism? I was disappointed to see "overtime" rendered in full.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IDK

      no, O/T is common this side of the pond... along with OTB (overtime bandit) for the guy whose hand goes up immediately he hears 'can anyone work ov..."

      1. First Light

        Re: IDK

        I thought OTB in the US was Off Track Betting?

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: IDK

          Or Off The Bike and/or Over The Bars for cyclists

  16. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    We need to change the PFY

    I've been reading these for so long, that the PYF must surely be a PFC now... Pasty Faced Codger

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: We need to change the PFY

      Strange, you assume it's been the same PFY all along while it's far more likely that there's a selection of old carpets in lime pits marking the last known location of a former PFY.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: We need to change the PFY

        No, it's been pretty clear that it's been the same one since he started in 1997. For one thing, whenever he leaves, it's unusual and causes problems until he's brought back (which the BOFH forces every time). For another thing, he often reminisces with the BOFH about stuff that happened decades ago. For example, they talk frequently about their robot wars, which occurred in 2010, so he's been the same one since then. Finally, if the PFY keeps getting replaced, the new one always seems to still be named Steven.

        Sure, they've fought many times before, and the PFY did once try to kill the BOFH, but all was forgiven after quite a lot of retribution. We hear when the BOFH kills someone, and he's never mentioned doing that to the PFY or suggesting that he's had a different one before.

        1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: We need to change the PFY

          Has it really been that long? I remember starting to read El Reg about 2001 and BOFH around the same time.

          So assuming it's the same PFY that entire time, and assuming that the PFY started either straight from sixth form, or more likely university. He'd likely have been in the 18-22 age range in 1997.

          So he'd be between 43 and 47 now.... a middle aged codger with greying hair and a hankering for pine kitchens

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: We need to change the PFY

            I checked, and I was wrong. It's actually been longer. The PFY was first introduced in 1996, and it was only the third episode that year, so he's now 26 years into his career.

          2. tezboyes

            Re: We need to change the PFY

            Yep, if you go back to the beginning he really was a PFY at the start.

            From memory, the nephew of the Director or somesuch.

            Original expectation being that he wouldn't last very long. But the BOFH was forced into recognising a kindred soul who with a little mentoring could be a useful second!

  17. deadlockvictim

    Good Morning Vietnam

    It reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXlvy3sTTBk

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It seems the entire article's an RFC.

  19. stewwy

    TLA

    The really sad thing... is I understood immediately every one of those acronyms

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: TLA

      You too?

  20. MOH

    And now I have a headache

  21. Patched Out
    Alert

    Watch for hidden acronyms.

    The Patriot Missile should be PATRIOT Missile. PATRIOT stands for Phased Array Tracking to Intercept Of Target. I'm not kidding.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

      sounds like a ....

      backronym

      /ˈbakrənɪm/

      noun

      an acronym deliberately formed from a phrase whose initial letters spell out a particular word or words, either to create a memorable name or as a fanciful explanation of a word's origin.

      "Biodiversity Serving Our Nation, or BISON (a backronym if ever there was one)"

      amazing how many acronyns a re coincidentally cool sounding words,

      Like RAID , which in some circles has changed its definition from inexpensive to independent.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

        The prime examples I immediately think of are

        Paper Airplane Release Into Space (PARIS) and Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN)

        RIP Lester

      2. NITS

        Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

        Q. What's the difference between an Australian bison and a Canadian bison?

        A. A Canadian bison is big and hairy, and smells bad. An Australian bison's where you wash your hands, mate!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

          Citation from the Uxbridge Dictionary?

      3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

        Like RAID , which in some circles has changed its definition from inexpensive to independent.

        Yeah, that one's transition always bemused me... if the damn disks are in an array then they are no longer independent.

        I suspect the manufacturers of disks had some impact on the perversion of RAID to RAID. :)

      4. Andy A
        Thumb Up

        Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

        Some of us remember (and even used) TWAIN.

        Look it up if you need.

        1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

          Without looking it up... I remember dealing with TWAIN about 25yrs ago... something to do with the API for scanners I think (at least in the instance I seem to recall it's use)

          1. TSM

            Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

            Both scanners and cameras, I believe.

            And it was Technology Without An Interesting Name, if I recall correctly.

    2. Freezus

      Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

      A prime example of where the acronym surely came before the word soup used to justify it

      Edit: Beaten to it. First I've heard of backronym but I like it

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Watch for hidden acronyms.

        The fun thing about backronyms is that there are often several explanations for any given wordlet- and that people will look you in the eye and explain quite earnestly that it stands for { their chosen version} with absolute certainty.

  22. TRT Silver badge

    I'm WFH today...

    but before we can accept any new supplier on contract we also have to have their SoMS (Statement on Modern Slavery), EPS (Environmental Policy Statement) and EDIPS (Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Policy Statement).

    FMML.

  23. Handel was a crank
    Alert

    That made my eyes bleed!

    1. Notas Badoff

      "The Boss runs from the room holding his ears."

      Too much OOB data.

  24. First Light

    The only one missing is . . .

    FFS

    The most useful and appropriate one.

    1. Kimo

      Re: The only one missing is . . .

      Franz Ferdinand+Sparks. Excellent taste.

  25. Zarno
    Devil

    BINGO!

    Yahtzee!

    Mulligan!

    Suspenders!

    BISCUITS!

    It's like reading a commentary of someone running through ten of those "word of the day" sticky calendar packs on a TAS... And I like it.

    Icon because daemons like chaos...

  26. renniks

    PPPPPP

    Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance is a favorite of mine!

    1. Anonymous Custard
      Trollface

      Indeed, although around here it's usually said as planning rather than preparation.

      I have even taken to referring to a "spot of PPP" at home, for the piss-poor performance (or sometimes planning if it's something that hasn't been thought through properly) part of it.

      And my better half has also taken it up as an occasional exasperated mantra when things go wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some trends in the military would shorten that to P6, like C2 means Command & Control.

      That said, my memory has mostly wiped that time to prevent injury, but I vaguely recall they had acronyms composed out of acronyms so initially you were two level decoding before youir brain just decided to use it as a noun instead to save CPU time and headaches ;)

      1. herman Silver badge

        C4ISR is my favourite.

  27. Kurt 5

    Plan Of Right Now

    Years ago in one of our unending meetings a coworker (EricD) slipped in "Plan Of Right Now." That went well and PORN hit the meeting summary. Bonus points to him for getting that in with a straight face.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Plan Of Right Now

      You could also have Plan Requiring Zero Notice (pr0n).

  28. FBee

    DXC

    ...had an acronym bot at one time but apparently DXC shut it down after too many inquiries about, wait for it, DXC

    p.s. After some time, DXC stated its acronym is short for Delivering eXcellence for our Customers WTF LOL

    1. tezboyes

      Re: DXC

      It wasn't shut down due to too little take up?

  29. Rhuadh

    Years ago, I was in a managers meeting, 20 or so of us minions, sector manager, area manager, auditors plus our CEO showing his face. Usual farce. Then some smart Alec started complaining about the TLA's and FLA's that were coming down from HO without explanation. Much nodding of heads and general grunts of agreement from the top table. Much later that night when we were trying to drink the entertainment fund dry, the CEO came over and quietly asked what TLA's and FLA's were. He was informed Three and Four letter acronyms. Thoughtful look, point taken and for once, acted upon.

    1. Andy A
      Thumb Up

      I always referred to them as TFCAs (Three & Four Character Acronyms) once digits started to be involved - PS/2, Y2K...

      These days I'm more interested in the U3A.

  30. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Its the sad

    fact that I didnt even need to think about about most of those and killed another keyboard with a fit of laughter that made my throat sore hence I need the TCP

    Although the boss did ask what the cause of merriment was before he started with.

    "Our estemed* prod engineer is leaving next week...."

    "And?"

    "I would like you to take over some of his duties as your PFY seems to think you are getting too old to go crawling around the machining cells"

    "Uh huh.... what duties?"

    "Only sitting in on the scheduling meeting on a thursday so you cant come to my office monday morning, throw the schedule on my desk and say "what the *^^( is this &*%*&*?""

    So.... it seems my PFY has not only stabbed me in the back , but also given me another meeting to goto and trying to deprive me of monday morning fun..... only 6 months in and I've trained her so well....

    *thats what he thinks, everyone else thinks the guy is not as good as the boss thinks...

  31. Any non-mouse Cow turd
    Trollface

    Acronym Avoidance Technique

    Years ago our corporate overlords had a habit of making every little thing into an acronym. I was due to present my latest engineering tool to an internal, international symposium (via webex) and I'd not bothered coming up with a name for it since the main task, as we all know, is getting the bloody thing to work.

    Anyway, knowing their penchant for acronyms I titled my presentation Sound Hemisphere Integration Technique for Calculating Radiated Acoustic Pressure.

    Turn that into an acronym you b----rds.

  32. Kimo

    BINGO!

    Filled in my Acronym Bingo sheet by the third paragraph, thanks.

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: BINGO!

      That long?

  33. Gnarfle

    RTFM?

    Read

    The

    Furnished

    Manual

    !

    1. Kimo

      Really Tenacious Ferengi Money Describes the cost of replacing all the software you own with subscriptions.

  34. stiine Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Excellent!!!!!

    I haven't LOL'd and WTF'd at the same time as hard as I just did.

    Nearly as good as the episode with the Kaypro full of lead-acid batteries and a serial port.

  35. Andy the ex-Brit
    Facepalm

    Worse than acronyms

    My employer makes large machines and their engines, and at one point tried to get everyone to start using what they called "mnemonics" for every data channel recorded during testing. On the one hand, it made sense so that you could search the data, you don't want one group calling it "engine speed" and another "tacho", or something. The implementation, though, was terrible, with chained together things that were sort of mnemonics, but the collection was not. We'd end up looking at lists of channels named "ZZTPMM", "GREMTS", "ILPFHI" and "EDNDST".

    Example: ENTCPA1

    EN - it's an engine

    T - it's a turbocharger

    T - it's the compressor side

    P - it's a pressure

    A - it's air pressure

    1 - it's the number 1 turbo

    There you go, number one turbo compressor outlet pressure. Now go find your engine speed channel at ENNCF.

    The rebellion was strong. These channel names are still out there, but they're buried deep in a nerd layer between the data acquisition software and the analysis/reporting.

  36. A____B

    Would have got away with it...

    Many years ago, when "cloud" was a new and not too familiar buzzword, my employer at the time** decided to create a consultancy service offering to help customers decide when/if/whether to move to cloud. It was known internally as the Cloud Opportunity Workshop [or Workbook depending on who you spoke to].

    I was asked to run up a quick prototype tool to record the observations and automate some of it and so I created one in a few days using Ruby on Rails [again up and coming / trendy at the time -- don't blame me I was assured it was a demo that wouldn't be used in production!! ho-ho!].

    I named it the "Planning and Assessment Toolkit".

    It actually reached the proofreading stage of the marketing flyer before the potential acronym was spotted. I thought that COWPAT was a reasonable name for the marketing spiel of the time.

    ** I've since moved on and then retired -- the employer in question was bought up and absorbed.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Re: Would have got away with it...

      So if no one needed it at the time... was the response

      Don't have a COW man

  37. Grunchy Silver badge

    The BOFH is FAB

    Thunderbirds are GO!

  38. FeRDNYC

    LOLWTFBBQ!

    "OMG indeed", indeed.

  39. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Now we all know

    what it feels like to be The Boss before the faceplant. This was a damnably hard episode to read. I don't even remember if anyone,s tie was caught in the shredder.

  40. Hazmoid

    The worst part is that I know what most of these TLA mean :(

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