(Editor’s note: This blog post works best when read aloud in Andy Rooney’s voice)
Sure, when you hear "ERP" you automatically think “enterprise resource planning” system. That’s your job. It’s what you do. But, according to my new favorite website, Acronym Finder, ERP could mean a lot of other things to other people. For example:
- Estimated Retail Price (am I the only one with Bob Barker’s face in mind?)
- Early Retirement Plan (the “ERP” we all hope to implement)
- Emergency Response Procedure (or put in another acronym, R-U-N)
- Employee Referral Program (aka “friends for cash”)
Well, you get the point. Acronyms not only dominate the technology world, but they are spreading well beyond it, so assuming that you’re on the same page with someone else when using acronyms could lead to some very confusing conversations. Just look at some of the 147 definitions that came up when I punched "SAP" into the AcronymFinder:
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (I can hear my mother now, “JUST satisfactory?”)
- Systems Applications and Products (yup, that’s “our” SAP — at least the English version)
- Structural Analysis Program (what every engineer blurt out when I tell them I cover SAP)
- Society Against Playstation (who are these buzzkills?)
Believe it or not, even I’m an IT acronym. Well, at least my name is. DAVE is an acronym for Digital Audio Video Experience, a trademark of Seagate Technology. Who knew?
Lastly, I wanted to include this satirical IT acronym I kept hearing from the IT department every time I called them. "We got another PICNIC, Joe," they'd say when I called asking why my font kept getting larger or my computer would slow when I had 12 applications open.
PICNIC: Problem in chair, not in computer.