02 May, 2007

Don't enter your PIN number in an ATM machine or you'll get the HIV virus. Shshsh..

Are newspaper editors really any good? One expects them to have an advanced knowledge of the language of the newspaper, but the editors of Gulf News, the paper that I love to hate, don't seem to have that.

In an article on the reasons for decline of the Muslim world, the writer, Hussein Haqqani writes,
and the melons were contaminated with the HIV virus, which causes Aids. No one paid any attention to the fact that the HIV virus cannot be transmitted by eating melons.

What is it with people saying 'HIV virus'? Do they even know what the abbreviation 'HIV' stands for? It's Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Saying 'HIV virus' is redundant. In fact, it's saying 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus virus'.

Other examples that I've heard include ATM machine [Automated Teller Machine machine] and PIN number [Personal Identification Number number.]

Are the editors of Gulf News way too busy munching on bakhlaweh and gahwah to actually do their job and edit out the mistakes of the writers?


Anonymous said...

RAS Syndrome is what it's called and apparently, it's not only gulf news doing this.

Anonymous said...

The following are some of the results after searching Google News with "ATM Machine":

Thieves Smash, Blow-Torch ATM Machine
CBS 2, CA - Apr 30, 2007

Tapping the GOP ATM machine
OCRegister, CA - Apr 30, 2007

Attempt to steal from credit union ATM machine unsuccessful
Truro Daily News, Canada - Apr 27, 2007

Thieves get away with bar's empty ATM machine
Anchorage Daily News (subscription), AK - Apr 27, 2007

Police: Robbers Target ATM Machine With Backhoe
NBC6.net, FL - Apr 24, 2007

Kiwi Boy said...

Oh so that's what it is! I didn't know it qualified as a syndrome!

Yes, I know Gulf News is not the only one doing it, but I don't have a kind word for that newspaper, therefore forgive my ranting! ;)

secretdubai said...

Yeah this a noted linguistic phenomenon. It's not specific to the Gulf, and probably not even to English.

It probably is "bad" journalism - journalese - but eventually some of these phrases will become the standard and future generations won't understand the acronyms by themselves, they'll seem like adjectives or half-words or something.

Anonymous said...

shhh post here and get the clap :p

Anonymous said...

These will be anacronyms pretty soon, so it seems like a pretty odd linguistic complaint.

Language evolves...

Anonymous said...

dude, ATM an An "Automated Teller Machine" is normally a product, thus say "ATM" Machine does makes sense.

If some one say ATM, I could think he means Abdul Tayer Motors.

So pls Gulf news pls dont change ATM Machine otherwise i will get confused.

Ok Mr Topic starter, there is no Ham in Hamburger so why west calls it 'ham'burger???

Anonymous said...

gulf nudes , for the past week or so, in fact as far as i can remember seem to have been printing wrong reports in their newsapers(pls see the letters section where it usually says Gulf news wrongly printed etc etc)
both gulf news and khaleej times r useless
censorship is 4 loserz!

Arso said...

gotta love the moderation

Kiwi Boy said...

Fake Balushi, I believe ATM is used around the world to stand for 'Automated Teller Machine', and can only be confused with Al Tayer Motors in your head.

Grumpy Goat said...

Why not avoid the whole ATM problem by referring to it, as I do, as a fuloos-o-mat?

Post a comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here