I use RTFQ all too frequently and write it on the board at the beginning of tests, exams etc.
Here is the “dictionary” of French abbreviations (in French!)
It’s a start should you ever wish to translate them into English … ! And “wow!” do I admire your courage in doing so!
Still, there are “some” French abreviations that may be self-evident in English.
Read the flippin’ question, I presume
The f stands for ‘full’, allegedly
Of course if does
Can You Follow Directions?
- Read everything carefully before doing anything.
- Put your name in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
- Circle the word NAME in sentence two.
- Draw five small squares in the upper left-hand corner.
- Put an “X” in each square.
- Put a circle around each square.
- Sign your name under the title of this paper.
- After the title write, “yes, yes, yes.”
- Put a circle completely around sentence number seven.
- Put an “X” in the lower left corner of this paper.
- Draw a triangle around the “X” you just put down.
- On the back of this paper, multiply 703 by 66.
- Draw a rectangle around the word “corner” in sentence four.
- Loudly call out your first name when you get this far along.
- If you have followed directions carefully to this point, call out, “I have.”
- On the reverse side of this paper, add 8950 and 9305.
- Put a circle around your answer and put a square around the circle.
- Punch three small holes in the top of this paper with your pencil point.
- If you are the first person to reach this point, LOUDLY, call out, I AM THE FIRST PERSON TO REACH THIS POINT, AND I AM THE LEADER IN FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS.”
- Underline all even numbers on the left side of this paper.
- Loudly call out, “I AM NEARLY FINISHED. I HAVE FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS.”
- Now that you have finished reading everything, carry out instructions 1 and 2 only.
I give a version of this to all my new classes every year every year only 1 or 2 don’t get caught out.
TLA - three letter acronym.
What about PQ
ARS always gets a snigger from me! Agence Régionale de Santé. I have to fill in one of their declarations or attestations sur l’honneur each time I take the plane (or ferry) back to Corsica.
There’s EDF GDF SDF IDF, two are related, the third has no home and the fourth lots of expensive homes. Actually I’m not sure if Île de France really exists as a TLA.
Some, like CAF are pronounced like words.
Some don’t really exist any more like TSF (radio - transmission sans fil).
URSSAF is my favourite game. Ask any French person what it stands for - I guarantee that they won’t be able to tell you. Then gently point out that they’re paying 23% of their salary to something they can’t name.
A friend long ago postulated that the French love of a good acronym is a hang-over from the socialist years … huge monolithic, unaccountable, with impossibly long names that were reduced to acronyms for ease …
Nancy Mitford has a good laugh at French acronyms in Don’t Tell Alfred which is set in the very late 1950s, under the 4th Republic.
Rétroacronymie" is fun (official definition: “le fait de détourner un acronyme en remplaçant les mots pour en faire un nouveau, souvent à visée humoristique”, so hijacking an acronym in a humorous way)