Archive for the ‘Initialisms’ Category

BFD is ASC

September 18, 2022

Yesterday, in my posting “This week’s astounding job offer”:

All of this is suppositional, and I haven’t found any source of information about the entity I’ve been calling YangCo and its programs that is not provided by YangCo. There is, however, such an entity, with a legal name I’ll conceal as the name BFD (for Big Fucking Deal) Research.

In a comment, Stewart Kramer went looking for information about a BFD organization — but BFD is my mocking concealment of the actual initialism, so he found nothing useful. I reacted to his efforts:

On the chance that the actual organization was a legitimate enterprise (with woolly, largely empty, p.r. text) being exploited by someone, I concealed its identity. But now I have been to the ASC (American Scholastic Convention) website and can say that it’s a bizarre and baffling pile of stinking dead fish.

Now I explain.

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The heifer executive

May 17, 2022

Yesterday’s wry Rhymes With Orange strip, wordless and spare-looking, but packed with tons of meaning on two fronts, the dairy and the managerial; meanwhile, it presents a challenging exercise in cartoon understanding.


(#1) If you see that there’s something sweetly funny about a dairy cow managing a business, well, that will do — but the pleasure of the cartoon is in the details

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FREDs and their kin

February 24, 2022

(References in plain language to men’s bodies viewed as sexual objects, with a photo, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

On Facebook yesterday, information from train-watcher Ned Deily about FREDs. That’s FRED, an acronym for flashing rear-end device — an alternative name for end of train device, no doubt devised to provide a pronounceable acronym (FRED) rather than a mere initialism (like ETD). But then we get then nominal rear end, referring not only generally to the back part of something, but also specifically to a person’s buttocks. Which takes us into racy or frankly raunchy territory.

FRED 1, the flashing rear-end device. In brief, from Wikipedia (a) on the end of train device; and then from the Trains & Locomotives Wiki (b) on “End of Train Device” (edited for readability):

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Frequently asked questions

January 31, 2021

A Roz Chast cartoon in the latest (2/1/21) New Yorker:

Questions asked often enough that they border on clichés. They’re frequently asked questions — but they’re not Frequently Asked Questions, Frequently Asked Questions being an idiomatic expression usually reduced to an alphabetic abbreviation, the noun FAQ.

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What question are you asking?

December 20, 2020

The 11/27 One Big Happy strip, which came up in my comics feed recently:

The father’s question, asking for a choice, appears to be an opinion-seeking question, of a sort that adults often exchange amongst one another to make pleasant small talk or as a kind of game. But note the father’s open laptop: the opinion-seeking question is being used here as a form of test question, in which the kids are supposed to display their knowledge of culturally significant people. And the kids are perfectly aware that the exercise is some kind of test.

There is, unfortunately, another variable here: the father’s question offers choices at two points: what person (that’s the question he’s intending to ask) and living or dead (which the father intends to be clarifying the range of persons that could be possible answers, but which the kids take to be the question at issue.

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Caterpillars spinning platters

August 5, 2020

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with songs you just can’t get out of your head:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

A wonderful collision of worlds, set off by the idiomatic (and colorfully metaphorical) N + N compound earworm: the world of DJs — the ear world (disc jockeys providing sonic pleasures for the ear) — and the world of caterpillars — the worm world (caterpillars being one type of worm in colloquial English).

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For Alan Turing

June 23, 2020

On the occasion of Alan Turing’s birthday today, this release from NPL:

1912 – 1954:  Alan Turing’s work was instrumental in placing NPL at the forefront of computer technology.

Turing had already achieved a great deal before he started work at NPL. While at King’s College, Cambridge, he earned a scholarship, Maths Tripos Part II Distinction, fellowship and Smith’s Prize, as well as writing his paper on Computable Numbers. He then moved on to Princeton University and earned his PhD in 1938, before moving back to Cambridge and starting work at the Government Code and Cryptography School in 1939, where he was an essential part of the work to break the German Enigma code.

After the war he moved to NPL in 1945, and produced his plans for the ACE computer in 1946. He worked at NPL on the ACE until he left (after being on leave to Cambridge) in 1948, not long after writing his Intelligent Machinery paper.

Two things here: the identity of NPL; and more on celebrations of Alan Turing.

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There was a singer had a dog

January 8, 2020

The Epiphany Rhymes With Orange is an exercise in cartoon understanding:

(#1)

Without the title and the comment balloon (on the left), the cartoon is still compensible, and funny — this material adds some extra humorous depth — but none of it works at all unless you know the song.

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Another BYOB

November 3, 2019

Today’s Bizarro, with yet another unpacking of the initialism BYOB:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 12 in this strip! — see this Page.)

In the conventional initialism, BYOB stands for ‘bring your own bottle / booze / beer / beverage’, but here it’s ‘bring your OB’, where OB /o bi/ is short for — a clipping of — OB-GYN /o bi ǰi waj ɛn/. From NOAD:

noun ob-gyn: abbreviation [pronounced as an initialism] obstetrics and gynecology.

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Revisiting 26: LGBT etc. etc.

February 14, 2019

A mailing today about the March-April 2019 issue of G&LR (The Gay & Lesbian Review):

The proposal is LGBT+. Just LGBT+.

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