Machine Machines and Number Numbers
Posted by Neal on June 19, 2004
I wonder what you’d call a machine whose function was to make automatic teller machines (ATMs). Would it be called an ATM machine? Well, no, of course not, since ATM machine means the same thing as plain old ATM: If you see a sign saying “ATM machine inside” when you enter a grocery store, you will find an ordinary ATM, and you won’t find some other kind of machine that has something to do with ATMs.
This kind of redundancy also occurs with acronyms whose final N stands for number.