ACA means “Another Company Acronym”

Like most companies, mine is awash in acronyms and other jargon. Part of the training I conduct for new employees is a session where, after a week in a classroom setting learning about our business, I ask them to sit in the production area, listen in on conversations, and try to understand what people are saying. Once they wade through how well Jennifer is doing in dance class and which grocery store has triple coupons this week, they’re likely to hear something like the following:


“There’s an NPL QTA on DSP for HSBC from GCM in WDC due out ASAP. Don’t forget to QC, EZ and AV it, and check the HTML.”


Sounds like everyday English to those of us who’ve worked here long enough, though it’s obviously other-worldly to everybody else.


We’re so rooted in abbreviations, it’s actually possible to say the following and have it make sense:


“We have PC’s on the PC and the PC is doing them on his PC.”


Translation: We have Proofreader Corrections on the Proxy Card and the Production Coordinator is doing them on his Personal Computer. If we added that he was doing them in a politically correct fashion, we could actually have five PC references in a single sentence.


Among the long list of acronyms in our glossary of terms is “BRP,” pronounced “burp.” If you’re going to “burp a job,” you’re not going to hold it on your shoulder and pat its back; instead you’re going to run the blackline removal program.


When we’re traveling on business, coworkers will often ask each other at dinner whether a particular expense is “RBE-able”. The RBE is the “refundable business expense,” and applies to travel costs like food, taxi trips and lodging expenses, though not Spectravision, massages and bootleg DVDs bought on the streets of Hong Kong.


Lastly, there’s a step called the “notice of completion,” or the “NOC” (pronounced “knock”). This happens when we’ve finished work on a particular document and we send a notification to other offices that it’s ready for them to print. I was working on several related documents at once not too long ago, and wanted to get help from others in my office who could take care of this step. The unfortunate way I phrased the question, however, was “can I get some NOC-ers?”


The incredible thing is that nobody laughed.


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3 Responses to “ACA means “Another Company Acronym””

  1. Rocky Humbert Says:

    The only thing worse than TLA’s are FLA’s.

  2. Ronak Says:

    BTW, this BP was really GR8
    (by the way, this blog post was really great!! 🙂 )

    When I joined a bank (i.e. my previous employer), I could make out that people were speaking English, but was not able to understand anything…

    i.e. things like LTV, NPA, DTI, etc.. So during the first month, I prepared an excel sheet, of may be more than 100 rows, for noting down the abbreviations used…

  3. Robert Says:

    RAC, DTP BOA QTA on the DSP…OK?

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