E005 At the ATM

Welcome to English with Kimberley

In this episode, I want to talk to you about something that you often come into contact with in the high street or the bank.

In Australia, when you need cash you often have to go to an ATM and when you pay for something in a shop you often use EFTPOS. But what does ATM and EFTPOS mean?

But first – here’s a quiz.

What do you think ATM means?

Is it…

a) another transaction machine?

b) automated teller machine?

c) at the machine?

or d) account taking machine?

Well it’s ‘b’ – ‘automated teller machine’

The ATM was invented in the late 1960s by someone who thought that if a vending machine can give cans of drink, then it can also give cash. And so, the ATM was born. Today, ATMs are very technologically advanced machines costing many thousands of dollars but are, really, nothing more than vending machines.

Anyway, ATM is a special kind of English called an ‘acronym’ which is the using of the first letter of each word to make another word. So, ATM is, ‘A’ for ‘automated’, ‘T’ for ‘teller’ and ‘M’ for machine. Sometimes these words are said as individual letters, like ‘ATM’ or as complete words, like ‘EFTPOS’

However, acronyms should be used as little as possible as many find it uncomfortable trying to understand what you are saying.

So, to our final quiz – just for fun

We mentioned that sometimes when you pay for something you use EFTPOS. What do you think it means?

Is it…

a) electric finance transfers at point of sale?

b) electronic funds transfer at point of sale?

or c) electrical funding transaction at point of sale?

Did you get it. It’s not easy but it’s b) – EFTPOS is ‘electronic funds transfer at point of sale’.

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You can also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

If you want more information on acronyms, just type the word ‘acronym’ in your search engine, surf and see what comes up.

I Hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again