Steve Eighinger

How could we survive without those acronyms?

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 17, 2019 12:01 am

Have you ever stopped and thought about how much of our daily conversations is tied to acronyms?

How many times a day do you write, text or even say such things as ASAP, LOL, BRB, BTW, XOXO or numerous other acronyms? (For those who don't, those stood for "as soon as possible," "laugh(ing) out loud," "be right back," "by the way" and "hugs and kisses.")

What never dawned on me was how much the art of the acronym had worked its way into other facets of our lives.

For example, did you know that IBM actually stands for International Business Machines? Or that those fancy police cars with "DARE" emblazoned on the side is an acronym for Drug Abuse Resistance Education?

Here are some others you may not be aware of when you see them on television, in a printed ad or on the shelves of your favorite supermarket:

GEICO: Those five letters stand for Government Employees Insurance Company. When GEICO first started, it was targeted to U.S. government employees and military personnel. Nowadays, we identify GEICO mostly with that cute little -- and rather smart-alecky -- green gecko with the entertaining accent.

AFLAC: Those crazy commercials with the duck who constantly quacks "AFLAC!" are sales tools for the American Family Life Assurance Company.

PAM: Surprisingly, the cooking spray isn't named after anyone called Pam. It stands for Product of Arthur Meyerhoff, the founder of PAM Products, Inc.

ESPN: Any self-respecting sports fan knows this is the most important television network. But what some may not realize is it started out in 1979 proclaiming itself as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. In 1985, executives dropped all the excess baggage of "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network," and declared the network was simply "ESPN." Period. (For the record, ESPN now broadcasts in 16 languages in more than 200 countries.)

NECCO: The next time you purchase one of those little round, multicolored rolls of candy wafers you will know that NECCO is the acronym for New England Confectionery Company.

LG: If you are the owner of one of those big LG television screens, those letters used to mean Lucky-Goldstar, but now the company says its initials stand for "Life's Good."

BMW: Even if you will ever be able to afford one (like me), know that those letters actually stand for Bayerische Motoren Werke in German, which translates to "Bavarian Motor Works."

M&M's: The name of one of our all-time favorite candies stands for Mars & Murrie's, referring to founders Forrest Mars Sr. and Bruce Murrie.

I hope this wasn't TMI (too much information), so until we meet again TTFN (ta ta for now).