Words from Dic(tionary)
by J. R. Practix
Acronym: (n.) a word formed from the first letters of other words. e.g.: radar, laser
I think you have to go back to the old rotary phone. It used to be really fun to come up with acronyms by using your telephone number, looking at the letters that were available under each numeral and coming up with a spelling for your company or organization.
Acronyms used to be so popular. It was a way of remembering answers for tests. You would select an acronym, and each letter would represent an answer for your test, and the word would stimulate your memory for the answer. (As you can see, it’s actually easier to apply than to explain…)
For a while, preachers used acronyms a lot to illustrate their sermons in an attempt to get people to remember the points past the parking lot, to where they picked up the box of chicken, to go home and watch football.
Then somewhere along the line they became hokey. They became laughable.
I think it’s based around what I refer to as my “layer theory:”
- Things remain cool as long as cool people are doing them. it doesn’t really matter WHAT they do–just that people we have decided are really superb and special do them.
- Then the friends of those cool people start doing the trend, creating a second layer. It still remains cool at that point, but a whole lot more common.
- At that point, the relatives of the friends of the cool people start putting into practice this popular gizmo. Then it becomes so average and everyday that we all kind of smile when somebody does it, but we’re really hoping that soon it will stop.
- Finally, the enemies of the relatives of the friends of the cool people start picking up on the practice. At this point, all the comedians in the country, all the sane individuals, and everybody who is sick to death of the new idea that has now become like used Kleenex, begin to mock and make fun of what was once considered to be the hippest thing in the world.
It is an American evolution–and acronyms are very near the point of being bombarded.
So if you have an acronym you still want to put forth, do it very quickly–and be prepared to remove it with just as much haste. Because I think we’re really on the verge of acronyms becoming the butt of every joke:
B.U.T.T.– Better Understand Tomorrow’s Trend.