The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… PINs, VINs, Etc.

Everyone calls them “pin numbers” and “vin numbers” – but they are WRONG.

PIN and VIN are ACRONYMS – for Personal Identification Number and Vehicle Identification Number, respectively.

Thus if one says “pin NUMBER” one is effectively saying “personal identification number number” – and it’s the same with “vin number”.

It’s like those people who call London’s “La Valbonne Club” – “THE La Valbonne Club”. “La” is French for “the” (feminine). Therefore, they are saying “The The Valbonne Club”.

And then there’s the Sahara Desert. “Sahara” is Arabic for “desert” – thus “the Sahara Desert” is “the Desert Desert”.

It should just be “PIN”, “VIN”, “La Valbonne Club” and “the Sahara”.

I need to get out more…


4 Responses to “Damien on… PINs, VINs, Etc.”

  1. Thanks very much for that information! I shall say just PIN in future. However, I cannot promise to pass on the lesson to the checkout operator (with a long queue of customers already cursing me for paying by debit card.) I am already in trouble when I tell them how to give change, coins first in my palm, notes & receipt second twixt thumb and finger…

  2. It also works the other way round!
    My wife used to work for the “TSB Bank” and I was told “TSB doesn’t stand for anything!” when I tried to point out to one of their Senior Managers at a Christmas ‘do’ that they were working for the Trustee Savings Bank Bank!


  3. I’d forgotten them! I’m amazed they actually thought they could convince people the initials didn’t STAND for anything – after DECADES of “Trustee Savings Bank” ADVERTS! Initials ALWAYS stand for something. Except the “Z” in Samuel Z. Arkoff, of course.

    I once read that the KLM in the famous Dutch airline stood for nothing – it having been invented as a device that would be easily remembered, since the letters were in alphabetical order. And I believed that for YEARS – until just now, when I Wiki-ed it and discovered that it stands for Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (literal translation: Royal Aviation Company, usual English translation: Royal Dutch Airlines).

    You can’t believe ANYTHING anymore!

  4. There is no boundary beyond which promotional and design industry twerps will not venture in making our lives chaotic. Examples? Sorry, I cannot tell you. Every time I hear of one I save my sanity by bashing my head on the kitchen door until I forget – but they are out there!

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