Is there a word for when people misuse an acronym or abbreviation by appending to it the full word represented by the last letter? For example: PIN number or ATM machine. There are more localized examples: when I worked at Kennedy Space Center’s Bicentennial Exposition (known as “Third Century America”) immediately after high school, people often asked me where the VAB building was. VAB stands for Vehicle Assembly Building.
The latest example I’ve run into has to do with identification cards the Air Force uses for a lot of its personnel. The new card is called a “Common Access Card” or CAC. Of course, everybody refers to it as a CAC Card.
My nomination is acronism. Or perhaps redundonym. Of course, maybe someone has beat me to the punch and such a word exists. Still, feel free to nominate other candidates in the comments.
A second, related question: why do some acronyms lend themselves to this abuse and others don’t?
Enough deep thoughts for the day.