Wednesday, May 29, 2013

UFO, Acronyms and word formation process.

I will write something about acronyms. As you all know, an acronym is an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. These components may be individual letters (as in CEO) or parts of words (as in Benelux). There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of various names for such abbreviations (see nomenclature) nor on written usage styling. In English and most other languages, such abbreviations historically had limited use, but they became much more common in the 20th century. Acronyms are a type of word formation process, and they are viewed as a subtype of blending.
This is important because the acronym UFO (Unidentified Flying Object,) tried to correct the original Flying Saucers. The term dates from 1947 and was later supplanted by the United States Air Force in 1952 with the even more-generic unidentified flying objects or UFO's.
But the original definition of Flying Saucers was confusion and then a joke. The Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting was an incident on June 24, 1947, where private pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed he spotted a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier at then unheard of supersonic speeds that Arnold clocked at a minimum of 1,200 miles an hour.
Years later of his, Arnold claimed he told Bill Bequette that "they flew erratic, like a saucer if you skip it across the water." Arnold felt that he had been misquoted since the description referred to the objects' motion rather than their shape.
So, this original definition was problematic and the substitution of “flying saucers” for the acronym UFO didn’t help at all.
As we wrote before, Acronyms are a type of word formation process, and they are viewed as a subtype of blending.
You can see that after more than 6 decades, we could not find the right definition and without a necessary designation. This fact clearly demonstrates that we don’t know what U.F.O are.


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