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When people see the acronym FAQ, I wonder if they really know what it stands for or whether they just understand the concept.

Is this true for most native English speakers?

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Unless there has been a huge, globally representative poll on the subject, I don't know how we could possibly answer this question without conducting a huge, globally representative poll ourselves. –  RegDwigнt Sep 1 '10 at 21:13
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However, I think it is safe to say that as time passes, less and less people will understand it literally, or even see it as an abbreviation at all. What's with radar, scuba, AIDS, CD-ROM, and perhaps even OK. (No, no, no, I didn't mean to open that can of worms.) –  RegDwigнt Sep 1 '10 at 21:30
    
Well, it was actually suggested by one of the moderators of the site that this question be created :) –  George Edison Sep 1 '10 at 23:51
    
not that I don't believe you, but... could you cite your source? –  Pops Sep 11 '10 at 21:21
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In a rare feat of acronym adaptation, the french have F.A.Q. as "Foire Aux Questions" which gives FAQ an enhanced recognition, as if it was indigenous. –  ogerard May 2 '11 at 13:44
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's hard to precisely answer this question, but in my experience (native English speaker from the USA) it is generally understood what FAQ stands for ("frequently asked questions"), at least, so long as the person is familiar with what an FAQ is in concept. I have heard of people knowing the abbreviation but not knowing what it stands for, but this seems to be enough of an exception that it's considered noteworthy.

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Do the people who know of the abbreviation, but not it's expansion, tend to have any idea what it actually means? –  SamB May 4 '11 at 5:19
    
@Samb I've heard that this is the case, but that's somewhat weak since I don't have firsthand experience. –  Warrior Bob May 4 '11 at 14:28
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Among the community of StackExchange users, faq probably has more inconographic meaning than meta but less than log

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This doesn't seem to be a useful answer to the question. –  delete Sep 2 '10 at 5:24
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This doesn't seem to be a useful comment to the answer. –  msw Sep 2 '10 at 5:39
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This doesn't seem to be a useful... oh wait. –  mmyers Sep 2 '10 at 12:52
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Strictly by voting, I'd say that the comment to the immediate above this one was rather useful. However, the one immediately below it is not. –  MatthewMartin Sep 2 '10 at 19:41
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There should be a badge for having 10 more upvotes on a comment than the answer or question it is attached to. –  ogerard May 2 '11 at 13:39
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