TLA

World English Dictionary
TLA
 
abbreviation for
1.  three-letter abbreviation
2.  three-letter acronym

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

TLA

/T-L-A/ n. [Three-Letter Acronym]
1. Self-describing abbreviation for a species with which computing terminology is infested.
2. Any confusing acronym. Examples include MCA, FTP, SNA, CPU, MMU, SCCS, DMU, FPU, NNTP, TLA. People who like this looser usage argue that not all TLAs have three letters, just as not all four-letter words have four letters. One also hears of `ETLA' (Extended Three-Letter Acronym, pronounced /ee tee el ay/) being used to describe four-letter acronyms. The term `SFLA' (Stupid Four-Letter Acronym) has also been reported. See also YABA.

The self-effacing phrase "TDM TLA" (Too Damn Many...) is often used to bemoan the plethora of TLAs in use. In 1989, a random of the journalistic persuasion asked hacker Paul Boutin "What do you think will be the biggest problem in computing in the 90s?" Paul's straight-faced response: "There are only 17,000 three-letter acronyms." (To be exact, there are 26^3 = 17,576.) There is probably some karmic justice in the fact that Paul Boutin subsequently became a journalist.
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

TLA definition


Three-Letter Acronym

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
TLA
three-letter acronym
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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