Startling Allegations Rock Historical Linguistics Community—Andrew Lamont SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents The Topology of Syntax—Iain A. Plicable

On the Cryptographic Uses of TLAs

Dash Ŋ. Ooba-Nuhd

Claude SPP in his angry screed, “TLAs DOA? TBD!” (SpecGram CLII.2, 2007) entirely missed the point of BizSpeak, as do most speakers of BizSpeak.

Many believe that acronyms, particularly TLAs, make communication more efficient. However, as SPP alludes to, this is not the case, because of the additional cognitive demands of both producing and comprehending them. There is the additional efficiency cost of teaching them to newcomersto whom they are entirely opaqueand the ease with which they are forgotten by those who are “away from the game” for any length of time.

All of these attributes are desirablein a cryptographic system used to conceal and obfuscate sensitive communication. Consider this jargon-laden example collected in the wild at Dulles International Airport. The speaker is clearly a native speaker of BizSpeak, and appeared to be taking part in a conference call with many other people:

My TSA, who was CNS’d of ARCing my LPMTL’d into RNSs and WRT’d on PAP4 (a H04 I PU5’d from the LOCs while LVVing in TDF in the NTFs)CR’d a TPL for me to FLI on this CPU in my O98.

You don’t know what it means, and neither do I; and probably half the people on the call didn’t really get it either. Why, because it is moderately well encrypted.

I do not believe that this encryption is intentional, per se; rather it is a side effect of the dialectal evolution of BizSpeak. Business peopleespecially sales peopleare loud, extroverted, and often more than a little tipsy. As such, they spill secrets easily. Those early BizSpeak dialects that eschewed jargon, acronyms and the likeintentionally in the name of clarity, or by chanceleft their speakers open to eavesdropperslikewise intentional or not. Slipped secrets, divulged deals, imparted information all made its way to unintended audiences, and business suffered as a result.

Those who turned to acronyms and their ilkoften intentionally and incorrectly in the name of efficiencykept their skeletons in their protective closets much better, and fared better in the cut-throat world of business as a result.

As I said before, TLAs provide a basic level of encryptionand their short length prevents those who create them from trying to be overly cute (as with the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act or U.S.A. F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Act), which often leads to at least some hint about the meaning, or at least the semantic domain, of the acronym in question.

To those who would rather seek security intentionally and with purpose, I recommend a custom variant of Tthm & usn trryv Aluuaj’s Huffmenglish. By a stroke of good fortune, I have recently acquired licensing rights for developing such custom variants of Huffmenglish. Not only will your variant be unique to you, it will be optimized based on the jargon you use, providing not only security, but also the efficiency you desire.

Inquiries to:

Qnfu Ą. Bbon-Ahuq
Uhsszratyvfu Rapbqre
6155 Craaflyinavn Nir AJ
Jnfuvatgba, QP 75055

Startling Allegations Rock Historical Linguistics CommunityAndrew Lamont
The Topology of SyntaxIain A. Plicable
SpecGram Vol CLXXIII, No 3 Contents