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Thread: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

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    Default AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    The acronym AGS has been flying about in the media for the last couple of weeks. A brief unscientific google survey has led me to the suspicion that it is an importation from TPSNI and TBRITS.

    It is GRA, and GSOC, after all, not AGRA and AGSOC.

    GS seems more logical, or at least more consistent, to me.

    Having no knowledge of Irish acronymic conventions, I've asked two respected Irish posters, and got two different answers.

    In the meantime, I'm not using either acronym.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    I can never remember when to use Garda and Gardaí - the media regularly misuse these terms too.

    An Garda Síochána means The Guardian(s?) of the Peace - thats how it's usually translated (have seen it just as "Guardians of the Peace" without the "the" prefix) but if you translate it literally you get something like "Guards of the Peace" - my understanding is that just because the "An" comes first it doesn't mean the "The" in the translation comes first... So if you just have Garda Síochána it translates literally as "Guards Peace" which doesn't really make sense.

    But I'm just thinking out loud and am very poor at Irish so I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along to correct me shortly!

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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    That's interesting and useful. Is there a list of Irish acronyms anywhere ? That might tell us what the convention is.

    A great post here on the subject, but without a directly comparable example.

    I'm beginning to see why AGS might be right.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 17-02-2014 at 02:09 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    The Peace Guard = An Garda Siochana

    Garda. A peace Guard

    PG tips = the whistleblower service :-)
    Last edited by Spectabilis; 17-02-2014 at 04:02 PM.

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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    The PGs ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    The question is, in English, the article is dropped from acronyms e.g. the BBC is BBC not TBBB

    Does the same thing happen in Irish ? It appears not.

    An Bord Pleanála =ABP

    Bord Iasciagh Mhara = BIM
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    The question is, in English, the article is dropped from acronyms e.g. the BBC is BBC not TBBB

    Does the same thing happen in Irish ? It appears not.

    An Bord Pleanála =ABP

    Bord Iasciagh Mhara = BIM
    Ok, so youve all finally reached the cruch of the equation. The Article. As you say the article is indeed dropped from english, why? because otherwise there would be way to many acronynms starting with T. For that very logical reason, the same applies to Irish where the direct article An is dropped. Just to convince more, the same thing happens in Spanish, Catalan and Dutch, and I'm pretty sure every indo-european language that use the seperate direct/indirect article system (basque doesn't though).

    So to the examples. An Bord Pleanála should not be ABP but simply BP (which would normally said ''an'' bord pleanála) i.e. including the unwritten article.

    Second, Bord Iasciagh Mhara is missing its article here, i.e. An. But the acronym is correct, BIM!

    There is another linguistic issue that is intertwined with personal societal perspectives. How do you treat acronyms or fixed expressions in languages that are 1)not your mother tongue but is/are from your country 2)that are foreign 3) that you speak or don't speak ??

    In coutries with funcioning bilingualism the norm, whether you are bilingual or not, is to trust those who speak the language of the acronym. But then again, in others they tend to ignore the established acronym, insist on translating and then use their own acronym (spanish>catalan, french>flemish) It depends on whether society respects or not the other language. In Ireland we have a special case. We have many nouns used in english that are Irish, especially related to the state, so when we make acronyms we generally dont translate these nouns, but actually try to make acronyms of them.

    However, and this is the crux of the matter, many people lack the language skills to know how to make a proper acronym, even though its really easy. More worryingly though is that very few people know what a direct or indirect article is, in either language

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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    Ok, so youve all finally reached the cruch of the equation. The Article. As you say the article is indeed dropped from english, why? because otherwise there would be way to many acronynms starting with T. For that very logical reason, the same applies to Irish where the direct article An is dropped. Just to convince more, the same thing happens in Spanish, Catalan and Dutch, and I'm pretty sure every indo-european language that use the seperate direct/indirect article system (basque doesn't though).

    So to the examples. An Bord Pleanála should not be ABP but simply BP (which would normally said ''an'' bord pleanála) i.e. including the unwritten article.

    Second, Bord Iasciagh Mhara is missing its article here, i.e. An. But the acronym is correct, BIM!

    There is another linguistic issue that is intertwined with personal societal perspectives. How do you treat acronyms or fixed expressions in languages that are 1)not your mother tongue but is/are from your country 2)that are foreign 3) that you speak or don't speak ??

    In coutries with funcioning bilingualism the norm, whether you are bilingual or not, is to trust those who speak the language of the acronym. But then again, in others they tend to ignore the established acronym, insist on translating and then use their own acronym (spanish>catalan, french>flemish) It depends on whether society respects or not the other language. In Ireland we have a special case. We have many nouns used in english that are Irish, especially related to the state, so when we make acronyms we generally dont translate these nouns, but actually try to make acronyms of them.

    However, and this is the crux of the matter, many people lack the language skills to know how to make a proper acronym, even though its really easy. More worryingly though is that very few people know what a direct or indirect article is, in either language
    I think that what is intuitive, and what sounds right, also comes into language. Perhaps An Bord Pleanala is called ABP simply to avoid confusion with the oil firm. And it sounds OK.
    BIM sounds great, although I have no idea what it would sound like in Irish.

    Which brings us to another irony. The alphabetic sounds that we use in English are I assume entirely different to those use for Irish. So when I say ABP it loses all aural resemblance to the Irish, even though based on Irish words.

    And BIM becomes a little word in its own right, as I guess few people say Bee - Eye- Em.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: AGS or GS ? What a Dilemma !

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I think that what is intuitive, and what sounds right, also comes into language. Perhaps An Bord Pleanala is called ABP simply to avoid confusion with the oil firm. And it sounds OK.
    BIM sounds great, although I have no idea what it would sound like in Irish.

    Which brings us to another irony. The alphabetic sounds that we use in English are I assume entirely different to those use for Irish. So when I say ABP it loses all aural resemblance to the Irish, even though based on Irish words.

    And BIM becomes a little word in its own right, as I guess few people say Bee - Eye- Em.
    Indeed you're right. Different languages treat the pronounciation of acronyms differently. In english the most generally followed form is to spell out each letter. The irish alphabet isnt too different to the english, it's actually similar to the spanish one. In spanish though, for example, they tend to make words from their acronyms, always. In irish I'm unsure as to what the general rule is. Though considering we're talking here of a sentence in English but containing an Irish acronym then I presume the english norms would generally be followed. The or An Gee-eS for example. (In Irish its would Gay-eS) .I would still certainly argue for the omission of the article from the beginning though as it doesn't make logical sense.

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