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3 Bumps

Why?

If ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine and PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, why do we call them ATM machines and PIN numbers?

Answer Question
 
Bugbait

Asked by Bugbait at 5:03 PM on Jun. 1, 2011 in Just for Fun

Level 20 (8,332 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • Less syllables. It's much easier when talking to someone like your banks customer service to say "What is your PIN number" instead of "What is your personal identification number?"

    DJsMommy610

    Answer by DJsMommy610 at 5:05 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • But it's like asking "What is your personal identification number number?!" I don't know why some people do that. Doesn't register I guess.
    nmmama09

    Answer by nmmama09 at 5:06 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • If you needed cash, would you rather say "I have to stop at the ATM" or " I have to stop at the automatic teller machine".
    DJsMommy610

    Answer by DJsMommy610 at 5:06 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • The alternative is too long!!!!!!
    older

    Answer by older at 5:08 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • I think they asked because the words "machine" and "number" are IN the abbreviations....So you're saying....I need to stop at automatic teller machine machine and put in my personal identification number number....LOL
    SweetMsMills

    Answer by SweetMsMills at 5:10 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Exactly SweetMsMills!
    nmmama09

    Answer by nmmama09 at 5:11 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Do you really need to ask?

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 5:31 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • You know, my guess is that while personal identification number is far too long, PIN or ATM is too short. A lot of people DO say ATM, but fewer say PIN. If you talk to someone and they want your PIN, "Can I have your PIN?" you may either (1) not hear the word or (2) think it's a PEN or something, but if you say "Can I have your PIN number?" that disambiguates and the 2 words ("pin" and "number") reinforce the meaning, and people actually understand and respond appropriately.

    Then again, there's a process in English of duplication, that seems to have duplication as an informal reinforcement, like you get "when we returned back home". The "back" is unnecessary, but kind of reinforces the idea of return to the hearer.

    I've studied linquistics, but we didn't really get into that. It would be interesting to study. It is an informal style, and fairly common.
    Tracys2

    Answer by Tracys2 at 5:54 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • good question. She is asking why the last word is in the innitial and tacked on to the word.
    Kimkh

    Answer by Kimkh at 6:14 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • The real question is why don't they call em ATMC cards?
    Kimkh

    Answer by Kimkh at 6:21 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

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