But this wasn’t the only time I’ve seen such a glaring error. In digging through my car’s manual for a part number for my brake system, I stumble across this doozy:
I pointed these out to a writer/editor friend of mine and they shook their head. Didn’t see a problem.
Here is the problem. Let me write out the abbreviations for you to see. In parenthesis I will add the word that creates the problem
Personal Identification Number (number)
Antilock Braking System (system)
Written out, you see how the second word becomes a redundant modifier.
Now this isn’t to say all trailing words wouldn’t work.
ABS sensor = Antilock Braking System sensor
We don’t have a redundancy error with that set up.
Maybe I’m more sensitive to it, having lived and breathed around DC so long that alphabet soup agencies are almost a dietary staple. But it is something worth realizing when you’re writing. Think about the abbreviation you’re using and how the modifier you have following it would read if you wrote out the abbreviation as its word based componnents.