Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Word game: UPS/ups

Let's try leveraging the power of the internet for that most important of purposes:  helping me to do less work.  As a junior faculty member, I have to find all the ways I can to be more efficient with my time, including, if necessary, crowdsourcing stimulus development to the internets.

I'm thinking about running an experiment where participants are primed to either 1) read a string of letters in their mind letter by letter (like you are doing right now for FBI), or 2) read a string of letters as one whole word (like you might do for, say, the word cop).  The critical point here is that I would like to find stimuli that can be read EITHER WAY.  The first example someone gave me of this was UPS (united parcel service) vs. ups (ups and downs).  Since that example, I have come up with some others:

LED/led
LAX/lax
ACT/act
SAT/sat

What's the point of this?  Well, it turns out that there are some kinds of reading impairment in brain damage where people can't understand what a word means as a singular unit, but if they spell the word out letter by letter, out loud, then they all of a sudden DO know what it means.  The idea with this experiment is basically to force people without brain damage to use the "letter by letter" strategy, and contrast what is going on in their brain when they use a letter by letter strategy with what is going on when they use the "normal" strategy of reading words as a unit-- for the SAME strings of letters.

So, help me out internets:  what are some acronyms that are usually pronounced letter by letter that also happen to be one syllable words?  Comment below...

8 comments:

  1. This is going to be a bit UK centric...
    http://www.one-syllable-words.com/ came in handy

    WHO/who World Health Organisation
    MOT/mot Ministry of Transport / as in bon mot
    MAN/man Manchester airport
    ME/me myalgic encephalomyelitis
    MEN/men Manchester Evening News (arena)
    US/us
    GO/go Govt org?
    BIG/big (notorious?)
    RE/re (Religious Education)
    LA/la
    AM/am
    SAT/sat (standardised test we have here)
    ARM/arm (processor)
    SAM/sam (missile)
    PET/pet (plastic)
    PA/pa
    SAD/sad
    AL/al
    MA/ma
    SOB/sob
    GUM/gum

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  2. Just a few more,

    CAB/cab
    MOD/mod
    RIP/rip
    MO/mo
    PI/pi
    BO/bo

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  3. POW/pow
    SOP/sop
    AD/ad

    You could probably use lots of airports... SEA, OAK, NAB, CON, DAN, DEN, etc...

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  4. @Laura POW! I could use BAM! As the prime ;)

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  5. @Laura what were you thinking AD stands for? All I can think of is assistant director? Like AD Skinner on Xfiles!!!!

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  6. VAT/vat
    BET/bet
    POP/pop
    POD/pod

    @SL I've used AD to stand for Assistant Director and Arrested Development (the show)

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  7. TARP/tarp (troubled asset relief program?)
    KISS/kiss keep it simple stupid
    AIM/aim (aol instant messenger?)
    RAM/ram
    CAD/cad (computer assisted/aided design?)
    IT/it (information tech.)

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  8. assistant director or athletic director... it could be a lot of things. :)

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