Friday, April 19, 2013

AFFAP (Acronyms for Fun and Profit)

At Big Brother, Inc., I do a lot of work with certain departments of the United States Government. This, surprise-surprise, involves a plethora of acronyms (e.g., USMC, VIP, IGOT2P).

Often, when editing a new document, I run across an acronym I've never seen before and have to try to discover its meaning without waking up the author. That's when the World Wide Wackfest comes in handy. There's a sweet little online tool called Acronym Finder (AF) that has often come to my rescue.


For instance, let's pretend that I've been under a rock for the last decade, crawl out, and find myself confronted with the three letters, "GPS." A visit to my trusty AF quickly informs me that GPS stands for "Global Positioning System." Problem solved.

However...

AF also tells me those three letters are the stock symbol for The Gap, Inc. and the airport code for Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. They could also mean "Gallons Per Second", "German Potato Salad", "Ghostfinder Paranormal Society", "Gloucester Public Schools",  "God's Plan of Salvation", or one of 83 other definitions.

All of which does at least two things to me:
     1)  Distracts me from my original reason for looking up the acronym
     2)  Gets me wondering about other letter combinations

Take the title of this post...I fabricated the acronym AFFAP out of thin air, but do those letters have an actual definition? According to AF, the answer is yes. Two definitions, to be exact: "Air Force Family Advocacy Program" and "As Far Forward As Possible"...go figure.

There are also two official definitions for my last name, ROTH:
     1)  Reach Out to Humanity for Health (Shouldn't that actually be ROTH4H?)
     2)  Realms of the Haunting (Okay, that's a little creepy.)

Final discovery...while there are 20 definitions that include the word "Dewey," the letters D-E-W-E-Y are not an acronym for anything. The way I see it, that means I can create my own:

  • Dog Ears Will Eventually Yellow (Librarian's rule of thumb)
  • Do English Women Ever Yawn? (British ladies' man's burning question)
  • Danish Entrepreneurs With Evil Yearnings (Secret society; lots of members) 


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