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RAS (Redundant Acronym Syndrome) Syndrome

What's This?

If you've been linked to this, you probably made a language mistake and whoever sent this to you cared enough to point it out. The best thing to do is read the details and see where you went wrong.


"RAS syndrome" refers to using words after an abbreviation even though they are already in the abbreviation itself. The two most commonly cited examples are "PIN number" ("PIN" stands for "personal identification number") and "ATM machine" ("ATM" stands for "automated teller machine"). Thus these are "personal identification number number" and "automated teller machine machine", which are redundant. "RAS syndrome" is intentionally ironic since "RAS" stands for "redundant acronym syndrome".

The best solution to this is to look up what abbreviations stand for and making sure that any words after it are not redundant.

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