Friday, July 8, 2011

T.L.A.s (Three Letter Acronyms)

One thing that seems to be popular habit in Singapore is abbreviations and acronyms.  (TLA has always been my favorite TLA).  This is apparent in newspapers, advertisements, and even the road signs.  It takes some getting used to, and for a while you think that there is some alternate name being used for the street other than what you know it to be.
For instance, a major road near us is Telok Blangah Road.  The street signs for this are "Tk Blg Rd".  This is satisfactory if you know about "Telok Blangah", but for first timers to the neighborhood, it's a bit daunting.  To make this more confusing, there is also Telok Blangah Way, Telok Blangah Heights, Telok Blangah Green, Telok Blangah Avenue, all in the same area and connected to one another, which makes for exciting travel and navigation.  Apparently the persons in the city engineering department weren't terribly creative.  But that's another story.
There are four official languages in Singapore--  Malay, Chinese, Tamal, and English.  However because of the acronyms in use, sometimes knowing English is not sufficient.  In general, you just "gotta know".

Here are some of the acronyms that I've seen in common use:

KG Bahru Rd:  Kampong Bahru Road-- just outside our condo.  Kampong is Malay for "village" and Bahru is "new".

ERP:  Electronic Road Pricing--  There are roads and motor ways in the city that are toll roads.  Autos traveling on these roads are required to have an electronic pass in their vehicle that registers when they travel on them.  A toll fee is charged to the owners account.  (Similar to EZ-Pass in SF Bay Area)

GST  Government Service Tax.   Prices on goods often will show two prices-- the price with the tax included, and the tax amount.  I find it a nice change that the price I see on an item includes the tax, as compared with the United States and elsewhere where it is necessary to mentally adjust the price by the incremental tax amount.

GE General Election-- this occurs every five years, and was held this past June.

JB  Johor Bahru (Adjacent city in Malaysia)

KL  Kuala Lampur  (Major city (capital) in Malaysia)

PRs    Permanent Resident.  Used frequently in documents for applications for various licenses, etc.

NRIC  National Registration Identification Card.  Every person in Singapore has an ID card, which is used for everything.  You cannot get a bank account, a cell phone, rent an apartment, or get a job without it.  There are different classifications, dependent upon status-- permanent resident, guest worker, dependent, etc.

UP:    Usual Price-- Seen on most newspaper advertisements or on store price tags, typically on sale items.

Ltd:    Limited--  a business organization scheme left over from the British
Pte:    Private--  another business terminology.  Not owned or run by the government

S'pore or SG:  Shorthand for Singapore

M'sia:  Shorthand for Malaysia

MOM:  Ministry of Manpower

IR:  Integrated Resort-- a frequently used term with the two mega-casino resorts in Singapore.

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