Acronyms are words such as NATO or radar formed from the initial letters of words. For example, take the first letter of each word in North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the acronym NATO is created. (NATO could also be called an initialism, more on that below.) Since acronyms are called words, their meanings are called definitions; thus, the acronym NATO has the definition North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Not all acronyms form pronounceable words. RSVP is an acronym that is not pronounceable, so each letter is spoken when it is said aloud. Some acronyms are formed from the first few letters of a word, instead of just the first letter, as in the acronym MILCON, defined as Military Construction. In this instance, the first three letters of each word are used to form the acronym. Initialisms are acronyms formed by the initial letters of each word. For example, IBM is an initialism for International Business Machines. Although all initialisms are acronyms, not all acronyms are initialisms.
ACT: Action Conquers Terror.
‘Alphabet Agencies’ is a way of referring to the roughly 100 government departments and offices created under the New Deal of American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for the purpose of remedying the Great Depression of the 1930’s. These departments include the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), SSA (Social Security Administration), and the now defunct WPA (Works Project Administration). Even to this day, the United States Government remains a regular alphabet soup of agencies.
A.M. or a.m. stands for the Latin ‘ante meridiem,’ which means ‘before noon’ and refers to the period from midnight until noon. P.M. or p.m. stands for the Latin ‘post meridiem,’ which means ‘after noon’ and refers to the period from noon until midnight.
AM stands for Amplitude Modulation, and FM stands for Frequency Modulation, two of the methods of transmitting invisible radio frequency signals through the airways.
AMELIA: Aircraft Maintenance Electronic Link Integrated Analysis, a system invented by 17-year-old Jeremiah Pate. So, what were you doing when you were 17 years old? That is just what we thought.
BATS: Bass, Alto, Tenor, Soprano are the names of the four voices in a musical quartet, barbershop or otherwise.
B.C.E.: Before the Common Era; also, Before the Christian Era.
C.E.: Common Era; also, Christian Era.
BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.
CUTE: Creating Unnecessary Trouble Everywhere.
“DARYL” stands for Data Analysis Youth Life-Form, which is a movie with an acronymic title, about a robot boy.
DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid.
ENIAC: The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer was the first electronic computer, unveiled on 14 February 1946.
Etc.: 1. An abbreviation that makes others think you know more than you actually do. 2. Abbreviation for ‘et cetera’ meaning ‘and so forth.’
FAMILY: Father and Mother I Love You.
HOMES: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior, which are the five Great Lakes of North America.
How to really annoy people: Use acronyms and abbreviations when speaking. Example: ICYMI, we post new IFS on ‘MFOL!’ OARB - CBL so you DMO! Translation: In case you missed it, we post new incredibly fun stuff on ‘Make Fun Of Life!’ on a regular basis - check back later so you don’t miss out!
HTTP or http: Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
I.Q.: Intelligence Quotient. A system of testing people to try to determine their relative intelligence. It is now regarded as unfair and obsolete under the ideology of political correctness, because it is thought to be ‘insensitive’ to point out that some people are just plain stupid or are not using their God-given intelligence.
IRS: The United States Internal Revenue Service, also known as the people who have what it takes to take what you have.
Is A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. an acronym for something? If not, then let’s make something up!
IT: Incredibly Talented.
JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group.
Kimberly: What does ‘IDK’ mean?
Beverly: I don’t know.
Kimberly: Wow, I guess nobody knows what it means, then!
KISS: Keep It Short and Simple.
KGB stands for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti. From Russia, with love! From Russia, yes . . . with love, not so much.
KOOKS is an acronym standing for the Keepers Of Odd Knowledge Society, which was purportedly started by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Despite many attempts, we have not been able to locate an official website or other information about this group, which would seem to suggest that it may be a super-secret society or some kind of conspiracy!
LASER: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
LOL: Laugh Out Loud.
M*A*S*H stands for ‘Mobile Army Surgical Hospital,’ and is also the name of an American television show about the Korean War.
MUSIC: Making Unique Sounds Instead of Chaos.
NASCAR: National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.
NESTY: Not Even Started Yet.
NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard. Whenever anyone proposes the building of a project such as a prison, homeless shelter, or other facility for potentially problematic people in a neighborhood, NIMBY-ism is an impedance to progress - or is it people wisely protecting the best interests of their community, particularly the children? It probably depends which side of the issue you stand on - and who is buttering your bread. We might say to politicians, government bureaucrats, corporations, and naïve social do-gooders, “BIYBY: Better In Your Back Yard.” Then there are the ‘BANANA’ people, who say, “Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody!” Which bandwagon are you on?
NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is a joint American-Canadian operation tasked with providing aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for North America. Essentially, it is a system of radars, whistles, colored lights, and horns that gives the flyboys and flygirls something to do when they are grounded and not up in the air about something.
NSA: National Security Agency. A department of the United States Government that is so top-secret that some people deny its existence, even going so far as to refer to it as ‘No Such Agency.’
PAY: Prioritize Activities by Yield.
PB&J or PBNJ: Peanut Butter and Jelly, a type of sandwich.
PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; also People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.
POTUS: President Of The United States.
QANTAS: Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service, the Australian national airline.
RADAR: Radio Detection And Ranging. Radar is also the nickname of the military unit clerk on the M*A*S*H television show - perhaps because just like electronic RADAR, he was good at finding things?
R.I.P.: Rest In Peace.
RSVP stands for the French ‘Répondez s’il vous plaît’ which translates as ‘Reply if you please.’ RSVP is used on invitations to formal events and special get-togethers, to allow the person in charge to know how many people will be in attendance so that seating arrangements, amount of food, size of dance floor, and other decisions can be made. Considerate and polite people - always, always, always - give their acceptance of the invitation or give a notice that they are declining to attend, promptly either by spoken word or in writing; it is the proper thing to do, and we must be proper, mustn’t we? (The only acceptable answer to that question is in the affirmative.)
SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
SERVICE is an acronym for Social, Enthusiastic, Responsible, Vibrant, Intelligent, Courteous, Engaged.
SINA: Safety Is No Accident, an acronym with a double-meaning.
SONTTAP: Say Only Nice Things To All People.
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure.
Symbols are a type of abbreviation. The ‘#’ or ‘pound’ key on your keyboard is called an octotroph or hashtag, and the ‘&’ or ‘and’ key is called an ampersand.
TANSTAAFL: “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” -Milton Friedman
TEON: Two Eyes One Nose, being one of the more common facial configurations.
THEIRS. Have you ever noticed that the word ‘The’ and the three letters IRS combine to form THEIRS? That’s because the United States ‘Internal Revenue Service’ people think your money is THEIRS.
TIP. The word ‘tip’ purportedly dates back to old London coffeehouses. Conspicuously placed brass boxes etched with the inscription, ‘To Insure Promptness,’ encouraged customers to pay for efficient service. What is the difference between a tip and a bribe?
TLAR: That Looks About Right.
UFO: Unfinished Object.
“U.S. now stands for Unlimited Spending.” -Author Unknown: as quoted in the “Tampa Tribune” newspaper of Tampa, Florida, United States of America
USA PATRIOT ACT stands for ‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.’ Say it again, Uncle Sam!
V.I.P.: Very Important Person.
Why is ‘abbreviation’ such a long word? What is the abbreviation for abbreviation? Common abbreviations for the words abbreviate, abbreviated, and abbreviation include abr., abbr., abbrv., and abbrev. So, why do we not have a keyboard symbol for the word abbreviation?
WIP: Work In Progress.
‘www’ stands for ‘world wide web’ - and also for ‘wonderfully wacky website,’ like the one you are on right now.
YOGOWYPI: You Only Get Out What You Put In. An amusing and truthful acronymic rule for life.
ZIP Code stands for Zone Improvement Plan Code, a system devised by the United States Postal Service (USPS) for sorting and delivering mail.
This is MFOL! . . . and while there are many serious matters in our world and in our time that need serious consideration, we do not have time for any of that, because we are too busy being ridiculous!