Not just they get us confused about what their long form may be but in many cases the same AO gets a different long form as per the context in which it is used.
For example CPM was a popularl OS for microprocessors till time MS-DOS started monopolizing the OS market. But CPM also means Critical Path Monitering in the project management context and CPM is the AO for the name of a political party.
I recently had to explain to a collegue what a TLA was (Three Letter Acronym).
But the mention of CMOS being heard a Sea Moss reminded me of the day I was working at one of the early computer stores in the Chicago area. A customer had called me at the store asking for a little help. He had just purchased an Apple II computer and wanted to know if I could tell him a little program he could type in to see how it was working. The Apple II had BASIC builtin so I said to type this line,
10 FOR X = 1 TO 10
"Syntax error," he said. Huh? We tried several times with the same result, so we gave up.
Later he came into the store and showed me he had been typing
Oh, and I don't have OCD, I have CDO, that's the letters in alphabetical order.
Not to mention, when I first started working at Intel Corporation in the mid 80's I got this "orange" booklet, it was Intel's own Acronym decoder booklet. I think I still have it in my closet somewhere :-)
Let's see, is that High Voltage Alternating Current or Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning? Even more confusing when you realize that many HVAC (the latter) systems run on HVAC (the former)!
I was just thinking about this the other day, about how SAR could be Synthetic Aperture Radar to an EE working at an aerospace company, it could be Successive Aprroximation Register to an EE designing analog to digital converters (ADC's, of course), it could be Segmentation And Reassembly layer to an EE working on ATM (I mean Asynchronous Transfer Mode, not Automatic Teller Machine!), or Specific Absorption Rate to an EE working on cellular phones and concerned with the amount of radiation absorbed by the user's head! And these are just EE's (electrical engineers)! I hate to think what SAR means to politicians, lawyers, and used car salesmen!
Hey, that could be a new acronym for those people who, shall we say, are not known for their brutal honesty like we engineers are; PLAUCS - Politicians, Lawyers, And Used Car Salesmen. I like it!