hypothetically rhetorically speaking
I don't like redundancy following acronyms like the first two examples, because it suggests that people either don't know what the acronym stands for (when, in my opinion, they should) or they aren't thinking about what they're saying. And by the last bit, I refer to the fact that when I encounter acronyms, my brain generally opens them when they're the sort that're pronounced letter-per-letter. i.e. My brain thinks "Automated Teller Machine" when I encounter "ATM", but when I see "Laser", my brain comes up wiht "Laser." Further, ATM and SAT are used as modifiers for other things. "Use your card to get into the ATM booth." "Check the mail for your SAT Results; I'm leaving for my SAT study group." Hence, SAT Test appears to be modifying "test," but we know it's not.
--LAN3 Thu Sep 25 13:42:11 2008
Well, in one example, there's some potential ambiguity... like "PIN number". PIN isn't a great acronym because it sounds like a word already floating 2 or 3 meanings.

I think you're right that the modifier/adjective thing is what's in play here... what kind of machine is it? An ATM machine.

I'm always hesitant about "should", and just because a word is an acronym doesn't mean it will always be an acronym, like laser or radar or whatever.

But mostly it's the sophomoric "har har that's from the department of redundancy department" snarkness that bugs me, like a precocious eleven year old pointing out that you should say "his or hers" and not "theirs" because it's not technically plural... in a small minded kind of way the kid can might be correct (though not as correct as you might assume, the precedent for "plural for ambiguous pronoun" goes way, way back) but it utterly misses the point of how language, especially English, twists for utilitarian purposes.
--Kirk Thu Sep 25 15:13:13 2008
Who was the cute little girl you were singing the "bubbles in the coffee cup" song to? So cute.
--Mindy Thu Sep 25 19:01:46 2008
that's the two year old daughter of EB , close friend of mine.
--Kirk Fri Sep 26 10:09:24 2008
Re: redundant acronyms, I feel you! I've seen a lot of companies in LA go by their initials (mike jones productions: MJP) and then refer to their company as MJP Productions. ??? Then they go by their technical business name, MJP Productions, Inc. 
It's MJP, Inc. Folks!!!
--Erin in La la land Fri Sep 26 17:34:22 2008

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