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May 31, 2006, 10:12
shufitz
New word found
When you register on certain sites, they will ask you to copy a list of a few letters and numbers that they've written in an odd script, or on an odd background. The notion is that a human can read that script but a computer will cannot; the device thus foil automated attempts to sign up hundreds of times.

What do you call that device? According to today's paper, it's a captcha. A little research reveals that it stands for "Completely Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".

The darn thing has 9-1/2 million ghits, and I'd never heard of it.
May 31, 2006, 10:42
zmježd
The squiggly, odd letters and digits are mainly to fool character recognition software, but spammers have found a way outof it. Having a human read the captcha text and submitting the correct ASCII text. I'd swear I'd posted here about it, but I can't find it. (Also, the acronym came first and the meaning latter, I'm pretty sure.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
May 31, 2006, 13:06
dalehileman
shu: Since it's a registered trademark, no doubt you will hear from the Carnegie Mellon lawyers for not capitalizing
May 31, 2006, 17:40
zmježd
registered trademark

Actually, it's just a trademark, not a registered one.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
May 31, 2006, 17:56
dalehileman
zm: Huh

Learn something new every day

Somehow I thought all trademarks were registered
May 31, 2006, 20:02
Kalleh
Sometimes you see that TM sign and others that r with the circle around it. Is the TM not registered, but the r is?
June 01, 2006, 01:54
arnie
I'd guess you're right, zmj, about the "acronym " coming first. My blog hosts also describe CAPTCHA™ as a "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart". That has all the hallmarks of a "backronym". See http://www.captcha.net/


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
June 01, 2006, 19:51
Kalleh
Just in case others hadn't heard of "backronym" before, here is a site defining it. It is a word that begins as an ordinary word and then is interpreted as being an acronym.
June 02, 2006, 03:00
BobHale
I thought, oh goodie - I'll define it for the OEDILF. There are already four other limericks doing just that. Oh well.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

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June 02, 2006, 03:23
BobHale
But I just wrote and added this one anyway

Port Out, Starboard Home? Golly gosh.
That isn't the way we got posh.
And Ship High In Transit?
Oh, please don't advance it.
They're bacronyms, nothing but tosh.

A bacronym is an attempt to turn a word which isn't an acronym, into one. They are often suggested by amateur etymologists trying to explain word origins. Two common such specious origins are: "posh" suggesting that first class travellers had a port cabin on the outward journey and a starboard one on the return, and "shit" supposedly written on packing cases of dung to avoid the possibility of forming an explosive mixture with sea water. Both of these are, of course, complete rubbish. Another common, and equally fallacious, one is "For Use of Carnal Knowledge".


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
My photoblog The World Through A lens
June 03, 2006, 06:23
Froeschlein
quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:

Port Out, Starboard Home? Golly gosh.
That isn't the way we got posh.
And Ship High In Transit?
Oh, please don't advance it.
They're bacronyms, nothing but tosh.

A bacronym is an attempt to turn a word which isn't an acronym, into one. ... Both of these are, of course, complete rubbish. Another common, and equally fallacious, one is "For Use of Carnal Knowledge".


One of my fave phrases is when, in "The Goode Life" ("Good Neighbors" on US public TV), Felicity Kendal (be still my heart!) talks about her "posh frock", her best dress -- but maybe it's less about the phrase and more about the speaker, with me. Roll Eyes

I let go of PortOutStarboardHome with great reluctance some years back, because I finally had to admit it was "zu schön, um wahr zu sein" ("too good to be true"), and even Onions (Oxford Dict. of Eng. Etym.) says it is of unknown origin.

Another likely bacronym is "tip" = "to insure promptness"

Froeschlein
June 03, 2006, 12:44
Richard English
Very few acronyms existed prior to WW2 when such creations as RADAR became common. So you can be reasonably sure that any word that existed before about 1930 will not be an acronym.


Richard English
June 04, 2006, 05:53
Froeschlein
quote:
Originally posted by Richard English:
Very few acronyms existed prior to WW2 when such creations as RADAR became common. So you can be reasonably sure that any word that existed before about 1930 will not be an acronym.


Ah yes, RADAR: RAdio Detection And Ranging
and SONAR: SOnic (or SOund) ditto

I guess it would be a story in itself how the (U.S.) military (might have) kicked off the acronym craze (in English at least) -- and maybe also mid-word capitals (what's the term for that?) -- with their COMSUBPAC, COMNAVCENT, CIC, AWOL, BOQ, POTUS -- not to mention the internal spoofs of same SNAFU, FUBAR &c.

Getting back to MY Shandyan hobbyhorse in this context, the Germans have an acronym (AküFi) for the overuse of acronyms (Abkürzungsfimmel > abbreviation mania). There is a need for this term in German, since the language/culture has it to a degree that possibly surpasses even the Pentagon. Ofttimes you'll have an acronym like BAFöG that comes out of a single compound word: Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (don't ask!).

There's even a well-known "four-letter word" acronym, dating back to at least the 19th century: L.M.A.A. (pronounced ellemmaahaah) (Leck mich am Arsch > kiss my ass) which, since the phrase comes from Schiller's play "Götz von Berlichingen" (about the disastrous Thirty-Years War), is commmonly known as the "Götz-Zitat". So people will simply pronounce the letters as above, or say "Du kannst mir ..." (Just go ahead and ...) without specifying "... am Arsch lecken".

Fröschlein
June 04, 2006, 07:11
BobHale
er... just for the practice you understand, something like "laws relating to the government promotion of education"?

Or maybe "federal education promotion law"

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
My photoblog The World Through A lens