A couple of weeks ago, a lovely reader, Eugénie Street, commented on a post on the blog. She included the abbreviation CQFD, which stands for “ce qu’il faut démontrer” (suh keel foe day-mon-tray), which is the equivalent to the Latin phrase QED (quod erat demonstrandum) in math proofs (not that I ever did many of those). It literally means “that which must be demonstrated.” These days, CQFD has been transformed to apply to businesses, musicians, TV shows, and various interest groups by making one or more of the letters stand for something else, as seen in the images on this post.
The French LOVE abbreviations, known as sigles (see-gluh). They abbreviate people’s names (PPDA was a celebrity newscaster), the train system (SNCF), political parties (UMP), you name it. It can be quite confusing! Thank goodness for Google. Before it existed, it was a lot tougher to figure out what an abbreviation meant. Thirty years ago, my husband and I puzzled endlessly over the English abbreviation SRO that we heard in a song. You probably know that it means “standing room only.” Ironically, this expression doesn’t seem to have a sigle in French – it’s salle comble. The intricacies of language are such fun. More fun than math any day. IMHO (in my humble opinion).