foreign upstarts dare to use their own languages [was: Re:black hat .cn networks]

Eric A. Hall ehall at
Wed May 9 22:50:42 UTC 2001

> > Think about the acronyms we use in network-speak every day - how
> > many of them stand for phrases in a language other than English?
> CCITT, and of course the favorite ISO, International Organization for
> Standardization.

ISO is not an acronym

      Many people will have noticed a seeming lack of
      correspondence between the official title when used in full,
      International Organization for Standardization, and the
      short form, ISO. Shouldn't the acronym be "IOS"? Yes, if
      it were an acronym – which it is not.

      In fact, "ISO" is a word, derived from the Greek isos,
      meaning "equal", which is the root of the prefix "iso-" that
      occurs in a host of terms, such as "isometric" (of equal
      measure or dimensions) and "isonomy" (equality of laws,
      or of people before the law).

      From "equal" to "standard", the line of thinking that led to
      the choice of "ISO" as the name of the organization is easy
      to follow. In addition, the name ISO is used around the
      world to denote the organization, thus avoiding the
      plethora of acronyms resulting from the translation of
      "International Organization for Standardization" into the
      different national languages of members, e.g. IOS in
      English, OIN in French (from Organisation internationale
      de normalisation). Whatever the country, the short form of
      the Organization's name is always ISO.

Sounds revisionist but I'll buy it.

As for CCITT, well, what do you expect. They can't even get phone numbers
in a common presentation form. :/

Eric A. Hall                              
Internet Core Protocols

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