Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Mr Etaoin Shrdlu: Why would this possibly be on the Hack and Slash index?
Madacaek: Removed a duplicate example. This edit brought to you by the department of redundancy department.
Colin: Would this also include cases doesn't spell anything but form an acronym that can stand for something else, like any instance of large guns with names that form BFG, or the MOAB bomb?
Ununnilium: "This may count as a subversion, as they both seem to have strained to make the words fit a specific acronym as well as picked an acronym that makes no sense whatsoever. " ...or it may be exactly what the trope is.

Medinoc: I don't know... Maybe the "subvertion" lies in the fact that the acronyms themselves make no sense, not only the words.
xwingace I'm actually reasonably certain I remember a TV show called C.O.P.S, about (of course) a futuristic police force. Something to add in here specifically? :((Wolf Kazumaru)) There was a comic, I know that much.
Fly: Slashing off the Metal Gear Solid example. 'Philanthropy' was never intended to be an acronym - it's just a word.
Kalle: I shortened the URL that was stretching the page about the Filipino party-lists groups. I hate bottom scrollbars ;;
Marz2: A suggestion would be to break up this article as it is very long into something like the way {{Nightmare Fuel} or CrowningMomentOfAwesome is. It seems life Acronyms multiply at least as fast as rabbits these days. :)
Golem The Troper: May I suggest changing the name of this trope, or at least adding a redirect? Fun Acronym Games. You know you want it.
Prfnoff: Once again, Harley Quinn hyenaholic deleted entire sections in the process of alphabetizing them. I restored Commercials and Newspaper Comics, but these sections were Real Life and rambling, so I'm not sure if they should be reinstated: Politics
  • A quite ridiculous example: the USA PATRIOT Act is an acronym for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.
  • When the Reform Party of Canada was remaking its image, the new name voted on by its members was the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance...or, as the media was quick to point out, if one placed the word Party at the end (as with the Liberal Party and New Democratic Party), one was left with a pile of CCRAP. The party realized after a few days the joke wasn't going to go away and changed the name again to the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance.
  • In 1972, the official Nixon re-election campaign committee was started up and given the official name Committee to RE-Elect the President. One wonders whether this was an unfortunate coincidence or a deliberate choice, perhaps by a disgruntled staffer, but no one noticed that it spelled out CREEP until the buttons, bumper-stickers, and stationery were already printed.
  • The UK Government has Cabinet Office Briefing Room A.
    • In America, there's also The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a type of insurance continuation.
  • In the Philippines, party-list groups, in an attempt to gather votes, will always use a catchy acronym that vaguely alludes their orientation or platform. Every single one of them, there are too many to list. Some don't even need to have their acronym match up to their name, as long as the letters are in the name somewhere in the correct order - especially true for the left-wing groups who must insist in having "progressive" or "democratic" in their name somewhere.
    • For example, TROLLED might be a party-list group named Tropers maliciously pranked. Or even Tropers sick of malicious on-line demons. I Am Not Making This Up (the practice of constructing silly "acronyms" this manner that is... TROLLED is a ficticious militant lobby group).
    • A list of 91 such groups. (Many of the entries are named in local languages. There are some English ones, though.)
    • Also from the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF for short.
  • The official name for the U.S. War in Iraq is "Operation Iraqi Freedom." It was going to be Operation Iraqi Liberation, until someone realized what its initials spelled.
    • Similarly, the war against terror started to be referred to as the war on terror very shortly after Have I Got News for You among others pointed out the acronym.
  • A rather notorious Republican dirty-tricks specialist formed a tax-exempt political organization in February 2008 whose goal is, and I quote "To educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is." The groups name? Citizens United Not Timid. Their symbol is a stylized crotch, just in case the sledgehammer to the forehead of the name isn't enough. I Am Not Making This Up either.
  • After World War II, the American Armed Forces were merged into a single government department, originally known as the National Military Establishment. This quickly got changed to the Department of Defense after somebody realized what NME sounds like out loud.
  • British pro-smoking group FOREST: Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco
  • The U.S. Congress uses acronyms for their bills a fair bit; one of the more widely recognized is the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing).

Science and Technology
  • The UK's main police computer system is the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, or H.O.L.M.E.S. Whether whoever named it knew about the High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor in Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is unknown.
  • Many computer geeks make use of the meta-recursive TLA — which stands for "Three Letter Acronym" — in reference to all the three letter acronyms that seem to come up whenever one discusses technology.
    • The acronym "GNU" stands for GNU's Not Unix. This one was arguably inspired by "XINU" - XINU Is Not Unix - which earns special points for being not only a recursive acronym, but also the word Unix spelled backwards. And a backronym, to boot.
    • There's also "WINE", for WINE Is Not an Emulator. The name has since been officially changed to just "Wine" to clear up confusion, as a lot of people thought it stood for WINdows Emulator.
    • And, for all the four letter acronyms, there is the Extended Three Letter Acronym - which is a four-letter acronym itself.
      • Not to mention More Than Three Letter Acronym.
  • While studying telecommunications, this troper has come up with many names for his practices that have a hidden reference to The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Hamming Algorithm Recovery Unit for Harnessing Information (H.A.R.U.H.I.)
    • Modulated Input Keying Unmodulator for Radio Unicasting (M.I.K.U.R.U.)
    • Network Addressing Gateway Application for Tunneling Operations (N.A.G.A.T.O.)
    • Automated Self-Activated Killing of User Requested Applications (A.S.A.K.U.R.A.; emphasis on the "killing" part!)
  • Studies conducted at The Institute for Genomic Research often make use of Basic Local Alignment Search Tool. When a genome is worked out, it may be posted to the Genome Online Database
  • Unix gives us the Bourne-Again Shell
  • The eccentric UK pop-science magazine New Scientist had a laugh at the expense of the Thin Layer Unimorph Driver and Sensor, which is very tenuously acronymised as THUNDER.
  • Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
    • This is a true backronym; it was originally just "Basic", the words were added (unofficially at first) because the public simply expected computer-language names to be acronyms.
    • In a similar vein the Russian educational language RAPIRA (or rapier), Algol-based but with Russian syntax, ostensibly stands for "Rasshirennyi Adaptirovannyi Poplan-Interpretator, Redaktor, Arkhiv" (Extended Adapted Poplan-Interpreter, Editor, Archive), Poplan being an early language by the same developers, a version of POP-2.
  • The computer that selects the numbers in Britain's monthly Premium Bond prize draw (actually the latest in a long line of computers) goes by the disarmingly quaint name of E.R.N.I.E. (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment)
  • The underwater pipeline that supplied the Mulberry harbours with fuel for the D-Day landings had one of the simplest and most elegant acronyms ever: P.L.U.T.O. (Pipe Lines Under The Ocean.) (Although strictly speaking the English Channel is not an ocean. That's okay, Pluto isn't, strictly speaking, a planet.).
  • The encryption algorithm Cipher Organized with Cute Operations and N-Universal Transformation 1998 (C.O.C.O.N.U.T. 98).
  • There's a type of Escherichia coli called the Growth Advantage in Stationary Phase phenotype.
  • The Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (R.A.D.I.U.S.) protocol; its successor is called D.I.A.M.E.T.E.R.
  • Found on That Other Wiki:
    • Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, which links to
    • MAssive Compact Halo Object, which links to
    • Robust Associations of Massive Baryonic Objects, at which point you notice the astronomers were just having Fun with Acronyms.
  • Based Upon Related Sequence Types, an algorithm for assigning bacteria to groups based on their DNA sequences.
  • In a 2007 article in Chemical Communications, the unfortunate effect of abbreviating copper (Cu) nanotubes in that way was lost on the Chinese authors.
  • The hacker phrase "Waste Of Money, Brain And Time (W.O.M.B.A.T.)
  • The PCMCIA standard does not stand for People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms. But it ought to.
  • The computer language Perl (not 'PERL') is accepted by Word of God to stand for Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister, as well as the more formal Practical Extraction and Reporting Language.
  • It's probably coincidental, but there's a town in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind called Suran, and during the 80's there was a project for a packet-switched radio network called Survivable Radio Network (SURAN).
  • The "codenames" of computer science research prototypes are rife with these. The most egregious example I've seen is Rich Wolski's "EUCALYPTUS - Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems."
  • One of the detectors at the Large Hadron Collider is shamelessly called A Large Ion Collider Experiment. (A.L.I.C.E.)
  • A common assay for protein binding (usually done to look for antibodies in blood samples) is the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay.
  • Scanners and cameras typically interface with computers via the TWAIN protocol. TWAIN has no real meaning, but is commonly backronymed into Technology Without An Interesting Name.
  • Wanna tell someone that their own stupidity caused their computer to fail? Just say P.E.B.K.A.C.! Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is basically the science of identifying molecular structures by measureing their respons to changes in a magnetic field. For some reason experimental procedures in this particular branch of science have really provoked the acronym-generating gene of many a brilliant minds through the ages. A few examples:
    • Correlation Spectroscopy
    • Nuclear Overhauser Effect Spectroscopy
    • Spin Echo Correlated Spectroscopy
    • Generalized compensation for Resonance Offset and Pulse-length Errors
    • Insensitive Nuclei Enhanced by Polarization Transfer
    • Incredible Natural Abundance Double Quantum Transfer Experiment

Kalle: I RETURN! with a page image. Feel free to edit it and the caption if it isn't to your liking, I just... I saw it and it had to be mentioned somewhere.