Tech acronyms sound ridiculous, especially when they insinuate illicit activity or overlap with the names of iconic pop culture figures and other widespread, common-use acronyms.

That’s why we made this top ten roundup of the most circulated and current industry tech acronyms that deserve a good laugh.

So, enough preamble! Here’s the list:

1. TLC

Let’s take a trip down memory lane: The year is 1997. You’re in elementary school, making your rounds at the local skating rink during a school field trip.

Tacky neon fixtures illuminate the walls and a larger-than-life disco ball emits busy strobe patterns across the slick rollerboard floor.

You feel a little tuckered out and want to take a break, when suddenly your jam hits the speaker. It’s “Waterfalls” by TLC

TLC Band Posing

If a similar anecdote from your halcyon days comes to mind at the mere mention of the name TLC (do “Red Light Special” or “No Scrubs” ring a bell?), then consider yourself lucky: You obviously haven’t heard about Triple Layer Cell NAND Flash memory technology.

For those of us that do know about the differences between SLC, MLC, and TLC NAND Flash memory technology and its effects on the lifespan and performance level of an SSD, TLC takes on a whole new meaning.

2. SSD

SSD Meme

Short for Solid State Drive, SSD sounds way too similar to STD, making it a rather common slip of the tongue (no pun intended) that has humbled the greatest among us while discussing such drives in earnest. Needless to say, we would all rather have an SSD and not, uh… well, you get the point.

3. NAS

NAS Doesn't Mean Nas

Not to be confused with Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones, otherwise known as the American hip-hop artist Nas, Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a bulky device typically used by enterprises to remotely store large caches of data.

4. SAS or SaaS?

Batman Slapping Robin

Have you ever noticed how redundant technology acronyms can be?

For example,  Statistical Analysis System (SAS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) are homonyms that actually complement one another quite well: SAS is a proprietary software licensed to companies on a subscription basis, so it also qualifies as SaaS.

More importantly, it sounds like the kind of back talk that will get you slapped by your mother.

5. DRAM

Pronounced D-RAM, Dynamic Random-Access Memory should not be confused with the following:

DRAM Rapper Photo

D.R.A.M. – Does Real Ass Music, the stage name ascribed to German rapper Shelley Marshaun Massenburg-Smith. Unfortunately, Smith’s nom-de-guerre will likely serve to confuse more tech “noobs” when it comes to properly enunciating this misunderstood tech acronym.

McLovin Getting ID'd

Dram shop acts. Drams are a small unit of measurement for liquids. A dram shop refers to any establishment that sells alcoholic beverages. Dram shop laws are State legislation that impose liability on businesses caught selling to minors or visibly intoxicated patrons.

6. SO-DIMM

DDR4 Product Image

Small Outline Dual In-Line Memory Modules (SO-DIMM) are a variant of DIMMS. DIMMs are DRAM integrated circuits used in PCs, workstations, and servers to allow quick, random access to the computer processor.

DIMM sounds like an adjective used to describe the lighting in the room, or a pejorative term for someone who’s just not that bright. SO-DIMM is the obvious adverbial modifier confirming both statements.

Ex:

“She’s DIMM,” said Tammy.

SO-DIMM,” replied Tracy.

Pro Tip: Use SO-DIMM in conjunction with “TLC” in a sentence for the ultimate nerdy double entendre!

7. PROM

PROM Photo

On paper, this tech acronym immediately connotes nostalgic memories of kitschy graduation songs, the taste of high school punch, and that significant someone you shared your last dance with — or it triggers an unforgettable loop of your most traumatic, subreddit-worthy adolescent experiences.

Either way, PROM is pronounced P-ROM and stands for Programmable Read-Only Memory.

8. DDR

Dance Dance Revolution In Game Photo

Speaking of dancing, have you ever AAAed a song on Dance Dance Revolution? (If you have, we’ll assume you probably can’t dance without arrows)

Whether you’re familiar with the game or not, in the storage industry, DDR means Double Data Rate, a type of computer bus technology that transfers your data at the rising and falling edges of your computer’s clock signal.

While equipping your rig with the most current DDR technology won’t enhance your footwork on the dance pad, it could indirectly help you achieve that coveted AAA status by providing faster data transfer rates for hours of seamless game play.

9. RAID

Raid Film With Hard Drives

Not a real raid and not a reference to its  Indian crime-thriller namesake, Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a type of storage virtualization technology used to improve a storage device’s reliability, performance, and capacity.

10. PHD

PHD Photo

Most people know what a portable hard drive is, they just don’t refer to it as a PHD. Maybe this has to do with the acronym’s tertiary undertones, or the possibility that savvier end users don’t want to mix their tech terms with their academic ones.

Whatever the case, you would probably be more willing to shell out cash for your PhD if it costed the same amount as a consumer level PHD, but life is a cruel mistress and those highbrow titles don’t come cheap.

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