A postscript to yesterday’s post about pumpkin (verb) and pumpkin spice latte (beverage):
Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca blog, William Germano questions the grammar and logic of “PSL” and unhyphenated “pumpkin spice.”
Starbucks has hailed the return of the beverage with big signs for “PSL.” Is the abbreviation an initialism or an acronym? Are we meant to pronounce each letter or make a word from their consecutive sounds?
As an acronym, PSL would become pissl, or even pizzle, which just sounds rude. As an initialism, on the other hand, PSL feels clinical, as if it might be a medical condition.
Marketing is harder than it looks.
For more on pizzle, see my October 2006 post.