Tag Archives: slang

Pitfalls: MV, PV, CM, CF

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The terms “MV,” “PV,” “CM,” and “CF” are popular in countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. However, most people in North America and other English-speaking countries don’t know what MV, PV, CM, or CF mean. You need to be careful with letter-based words (usually called “acronyms”). Even though they’re based on real English words, native English speakers may not use the same acronyms.

  • Pitfall: MV, PV
    American English: Music video. We don’t generally use this abbreviation (short form). We just say “video” or “music video.”
    Example 1: My band made our first music video this weekend! Example 2: Did you see Gnarls Barkley’s new music video? I really liked it!



    Here are two music videos that I like. The first one is “Two Silver Trees” by Calexo, and the second one is “Many Moons” by Janelle Monae. It might be hard to hear the words, so you can look up the lyrics here. Their lyrics are very poetic, so they’re probably still hard to understand! (And there are some “adult” words in the Janelle Monae song, so please only try it if you are in high school or older.)



  • Pitfall: CM or CF
    American English: Ad (casual), advertisement, commercial. (Note: “advertisement” is pronounced differently in British and American English.) Usually, to refer to both radio and TV advertisements, we just say “ad.”
    Example 1: I really hate that new diamond ring ad–it’s sexist and insulting to women. Example 2: I love watching TV shows on DVD because I don’t have to see any commercials!



    This ad from the pay-TV network Discovery Channel was really popular last year. A lot of people made their own versions, and the geeky webcomic xkcd even did a parody.

Do you know some other acronyms that you’re not sure about? You can leave a comment and ask, and I’ll try to to answer you or write about it in a future Pitfalls post.

(Read other “Pitfalls” posts about words and phrases that can be a little dangerous.)

Now That’s Real English.

If you’re an adult, you should check out the Real ESL blog. This blog includes video conversations and explanations of normal spoken English (including slang). Kim, the blogger, makes her own videos to explain things to you. Currently, she has videos about everything from pronouncing “th” to ordering coffee at Starbucks.

You should be at an intermediate or advanced level to use these videos. You should be an adult, too, because Kim feels that it’s useful to be able to understand and use “swear words.” These are words that most English-speaking adults use when they are angry or joking or speaking very strongly, but you can also get into a lot of trouble if you use them incorrectly.

I hope you’ll check out Kim’s videos and make sure to visit her blog regularly.

(Another good resource for learning to speak natural-sounding English is the Speak English Like an American book and CD series. I’ll be reviewing these soon.)