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Last Updated 01 November 2011
What is ICASA about?

Acronyms used to be there to make it easier for us, the worker, but over the past 20 years or so, they have gained prevalence in trying to obscure things.  ICASA (The International Campaign Against Silly Acronyms) aims to show the stupidity of this.

Anyone who works in any of the High Tech industries is likely to have come across more and more acronyms, in fact I worked for one large multinational (I won’t mention any names, but the guilty party knows who they are), where even though each department might use the same acronyms to mean different things from the neighbouring department, the company had still run out of TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms) and had to start using FLA’s (Four Letter Acronyms), the amazing thing is that there was actually a management decision to reserve a TLA for FLA!

Similarly, when I first started using acronyms they were used as a mnemonic aid, and whilst used sparsely added to the clarity of a technical discussion.  Now, however, with the increase in usage of  “Management Speak” the purpose is not clarity, but to hide the fact the the manager in question doesn’t have a clue about the subject.  In this instance, the shear “Pointy Haired Bossness” of it means that the guilty parties don’t realise I’m talking about them.

There are many fine examples of silly acronyms, in the telecoms world, such as ISDN, which although it does have a real meaning, also has others such as “It Still Does Nothing” or “Innovations Subscribers Don’t Need”.  There are also the genuine examples, for instance in SS7, where people don’t want anything greater than FLA’s something known as ISDN User Part becomes ISUP, which means that if you don’t know the root derivation, you don’t stand a chance of understanding it...

Other examples include terms which haven’t been thought through, such as FRT (if you don’t get that one, ask a friend who sends loads of texts) and ARSE.

Now having slagged many other’s off, it’s my time to apologise.  Some years ago, I started this site using a Wiki based architecture, and made the mistake of not backing the site up, so when some hacker decided to trash the site, it meant that I couldn’t do a rebuild, the site has been down for the last 3 years, whilst I found time to do something about it.  I’m now starting.

What I would like is for you, dear reader, to send any acronyms (and their meanings) that you find either funny or just think are stupid, over complex or plain meaningless via my contacts page, I’ll make sure that if they don’t go beyond the bounds of slightly bad taste, and do not look as if they break any confidentiality rules, that they get posted.  The intent is to either have a laugh or to name and shame.