My use of the phrase “ATM machines” in a post the other day had my inbox buzzing. I’ve become more lax in my language use recently…I just don’t have the energy to be pedantic about grammar and usage anymore. (Or perhaps I’m thinking more about writing and less about editing.) Anyway, there’s a name for using terms like “ATM machine” and “PIN number”: RAS syndrome:
RAS syndrome stands for redundant acronym syndrome syndrome and refers to the redundant use of one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism with the abbreviation itself, thus in effect repeating one or more words. Usage commentators consider such redundant acronyms poor style and an error to be avoided in writing, though they are common in speech. The term “RAS syndrome” is itself a redundant acronym, and thus is an example of self-referential humor.
My name is Jason Kottke and I have RAS syndrome. (via @tylercowen)