Among the jargon-heavy IT industry of Berkshire, one organisation stands head and shoulders above all others for their legendary use of acronyms: Microsoft.
We spoke to four employees about their experiences of dealing with TLAs (three-letter acronyms), FLAs (four-letter acronyms) and abstract project names. It's something most of us have to deal with at some point in life, whether you simply turn on your DSAT HDTV and scroll through the EPG for this PM (see what's on the telly tonight) or whether you're the recipient of a dreaded P45. You might later boot up your PC, launch IE6 to bbc.co.uk and enjoy some HTML, an MP3 or a DVD.
Meet the interviewees
Microsoft's UK HQ is in Reading, but gathers its workforce from around the country.
Allister Frost is 33 and from Walton-on-the-naze, Essex
Angus Lyon is 37 and from Bishops Stortford, Herts
Stephen Lamb is 34 and from Elloughton, Hull
Lucy Millington is 30 and from Kempton, Bedfordshire
They told us about what it's like coming to work in a place where acronym use is widespread. It's difficult for someone new to an organisation to get to grips with the acronyms in use. Then you get used to them, but a couple of years later, the original meaning of the acronym becomes lost and nobody can remember what it means!
That's when someone in another department comes up with a new project or process and uses the same acronym to describe it, giving your precious acronym a new, different meaning...
You can listen to the audio clips of our interviewees through the links on the right-hand side.
"Within the tech industry..."
Allister Frost explains why a project doesn't exist until it has an acronym attached to it.
"The thing I find hardest..."
Stephen Lamb says that sometimes where you are affects the meaning of an acronym.
"There are hundreds of acronyms..."
Angus Lyon highlights how difficult it is for newcomers to get used to it all.
"There was an interview done..."
Stephen Lamb on WAGHW - When Acronyms Go Horribly Wrong...
"Even beyond the technology..."
Of course, it's not just technical things which have acronyms, as Lucy Millington explains.
"The language that we use internally..."
Allister Frost likes being part of the GFA - Global Family of Acronyms.