RAS Syndrome

August 17, 2010

RAS Syndrome. It's a condition that plagues not only SoftLayer, but the entire tech industry. Of course, it's not even limited to that - it just happens to hit the tech industry the hardest because of the high amount of acronyms. RAS stands for Redundant Acronym Syndrome, so RAS Syndrome stands for Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome. See the problem here?

Here are some of my favorite examples:

  • ATM Machine
  • PIN Number
  • DVD Disc

Protocol gets abused a lot:

  • TCP/IP Protocol
  • HTTP Protocol
  • FTP Protocol
  • SIP Protocol
  • GUI interface

And of course the list goes on. Sometimes we can get very redundant. Let's start with this example:

  • Battery Backup Unit (BBU)

We can make this redundant:

  • BBU Unit

Continuing the trend, we can add "Battery" to this without sounding too out of place:

  • Battery BBU Unit

You need to be careful because you may use a synonym and still be redundant:

  • BBU Module

Since "unit" and "module" refer to basically the same thing, this is also redundant.

I'm sure this is enough to get you started thinking about it. In time, I'm sure you'll start discovering new redundant RAS acronyms.

-Mark

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