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Some Abbreviated Thoughts on Acronyms

Dan O'Shea
12/31/2014
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We at Light Reading live for acronyms: They are inescapable elements of the telecom vernacular that we use every day to tell our stories.

In 2014, we saw a handful of technology acronyms comes into frequent usage. Here are some that became seared in our souls, and probably yours, too.

VNF (virtualized network function)
Not to be confused with NFV, except that it is easy to confuse them because the same three letters are involved and they are, in effect, blood brothers. What's next? FNV (Functions of Networks, Virtualized)? In any case, VNF was one of the hottest acronyms of 2014. (Would it be too nerdy to get a "VNF" tattoo?)

DevOps
Short for collaborative effort between software development and IT operations teams. We can debate about whether or not this is technically an acronym, but instead let's talk about how it reminds us of the completely unrelated, but much cooler, term 'Black Ops.' The guys in DevOps probably don't get to carry guns -- or do they?

IaaS, PaaS, UCaaS, DRaaS, etc.
Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Services, Unified Communications as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service. There are more aaSes than we're identifying here -- the industry is literally full of aaSes -- but you get the idea. When the hardware apocalypse is finally complete and all of us and our gear are virtualized or rendered into software, there will be even more, but perhaps by then we can just collectively refer to them as EDTaaS: Every Damn Thing as a Service.

FTTdp (Fiber to the distribution point)
We've never been fully on board with capitalizing the abbreviation for 'to the' in Fiber to the Curb, Fiber to the Building, etc. (Especially when we don't do the same for 'as a' in acronyms like IaaS, PaaS and so forth.) Now, with FTTdp, someone has somewhat absurdly decided that 'to the' is worth capitalizing, but 'distribution point' is not. (We've also seen the even more non-sensical 'FTTdP.') The lower case 'dp' makes it sound like a distribution point, generally speaking, is a less worthy destination for fiber than a curb, which seems a little discriminatory, doesn't it?


FTTdp models are enabled by G.fast, a technology you can read a lot more about in our dedicated gigabit content channel here on Light Reading.


What other increasingly common acronyms have you had stuck in your head this year? Let us know by posting to the comments section.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/5/2015 | 10:53:01 AM
Re: EDTaaS
One might wonder just how an acronym gets popular useage. Would it be it's shortness and ease of saying.  Iot is one of those that rolls off the tongue if not also easy to type. So, a three letter combination (that's not confused with another similar three letter one) might be most likely to succeed?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/5/2015 | 9:02:14 AM
Re: EDTaaS
@nasimon I like that one. The problem with acronyms is that you already have to know what they stand for to make sense of them. I once used IP in an article for a financial audience, and the editor there said they wouldn't read it as internet protocol. I forgot what she said it might be mistaken for, though there are a whole list of possibilities here: acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/IP 
klross2
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klross2,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/31/2014 | 10:35:23 AM
A Classic from the Past
Acronyms are part of the DNA of our industry, so, DEAL WITH IT, PEOPLE!  LR (Get it?) should do what it does best...run a contest and sponsor an awards dinner.  My nominee for the best acronym in the last 50 years dates from 1973.  Bell Labs (BTL) developed a process for removing water from buried PIC, i.e. "Plastic Insulated Conductor" cables.  It was dubbed the "Forced Air Restoration Technique".

 
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/31/2014 | 10:15:08 AM
EDTaaS
My favorite one is EDTaaS: Every Damn Thing as a Service.
craigleddy
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craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/31/2014 | 9:44:38 AM
Acronym mania
OMG, I'm so HIUH (Had It Up to Here) with all the acronyms everyone comes up with in this IoT/IoE (make sure to lower case the o) world. Currently my least favorite term is DevOps -- it sounds like an invasive surgical procedure that I'd rather avoid.

I think the most overused term of the year was "virtual," which may be rivaling the most overused term of the decade, "cloud." Well, since virtually everything is going virtual, have a HVNY (Happy Virtual New Year)! LOL, ROTF, ROTFLMAO...OK, enough.             
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