Redundant Acronym Phrases

Nanday.com is the official home of the Redundant Acronym Phrase (RAP) project.

A RAP is a phrase containing an acronym plus a word or phrase such that, when the acronym is expanded, the phrase would contain a redundancy. This is best illustrated by an example: ATM machine. ATM is an acronym for automated teller machine. Thus, ATM machine really means automated teller machine machine.

To qualify for inclusion in the RAP project, a phrase should be one which is (or was at one time) actually in common use. Phrases artificially constructed, just to fit the category, are not acceptable. For example, CD disk (compact disk disk) is a phrase which is never actually used, so it does not qualify. There is only one exception to this rule. Even though the term RAP phrase is not yet commonly used, by its special nature, it deserves an exception to the rule, and qualifies as a RAP.

[Note -- a few months after I wrote this, I purchased a CD-RW drive whose instruction manual referred to CD disks. That was the only time I ever saw that phrase, so it still does not qualify as a RAP phrase.]

This phenomenon has also been referred to as RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome) or PNS syndrome (PIN Number Syndrome syndrome).

Following is the complete current list of phrases in the project:

The most common ones
AC current Alternating Current current
ATM machine Automated Teller Machine machine
DAT tape Digital Audio Tape tape
DC current Direct Current current
HIV virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus virus
IRA account Individual Retirement Account account
LAN network Local Area Network network
LCD display Liquid Crystal Display display
PIN number Personal Identification Number number
RF frequency Radio Frequency frequency
SALT talks Strategic Arms Limitation Talks talks
UPC code Universal Product Code code
 
Less common ones:
AFC conference American Football Conference conference
ARM mortgage Adjustable Rate Mortgage mortgage
BBS system Bulletin Board System system
CGA adapter Color Graphics Adapter adapter
CPI index Consumer Price Index index
DOS system Disk Operating System system
EGA adapter Enhanced Graphics Adapter adapter
GIF format Graphic Interchange Format format
GOB Bluth George Oscar Bluth Bluth
(a character from the TV show Arrested Development)
IBM machines International Business Machines machines
IRC chat Internet Relay Chat chat
ISBN number International Standard Book Number number
KFC chicken Kentucky Fried Chicken chicken
LPG gas Liquid Propane Gas gas
MASH hospitalMobile Army Surgical Hospital hospital
MIDI interface Musical Instrument Digital Interface interface
NFC conference National Football Conference conference
NPR radio National Public Radio radio
OPEC countries Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries countries
POST test Power On Self Test test
RAM memory Random Access Memory memory
RISC computerReduced Instruction Set Computer computer
ROM memory Read Only Memory memory
RPN notation Reverse Polish Notation notation
SAT test Scholastic Assessment (Aptitude) Test test
SAM missile Surface-to-Air Missile missile
START talks Strategic Arms Reduction Talks talks
START treaty Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty treaty
TWA airlines Trans World Airlines airlines
UL laboratories Underwriters Laboratories laboratories
USGS survey United States Geological Survey survey
VAT tax Value Added Tax tax
VGA adapter Variable Graphics Adapter adapter
VIN number Vehicle Identification Number number
 
Special case:
RAP phrase Redundant Acronym Phrase phrase
 
Some obscure ones which are being considered:
ADD disorder Attention Deficit Disorder disorder
AIDS syndrome Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome syndrome
AM modulation Amplitude Modulation modulation
ATC control Air Traffic Control control
COBOL language Common Business-Oriented Language language
CPU unit Central Processing Unit unit
CS/DS/ES/SS segment Code/Data/Extra/Stack Segment segment
EBCDIC code Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code code
FM modulation Frequency Modulation modulation
HTML language Hyper Text Markup Language language
IP pointer Instruction Pointer pointer
LEM module Lunar Excursion Module module
PC circuit Printed Circuit circuit
PERL language Practical Extraction and Reporting Language language
PIF file Program Information File file
UHF frequency Ultra-High Frequency frequency
UN nations United Nations nations
UNIVAC computer Universal Automatic Computer computer
UPI internationalUnited Press International international
VHF frequency Very High Frequency frequency


If you would like to suggest some possible redundant acronym phrases, or if you have any comments or suggestions, please, let us know.

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