Acronym Haters of America hat

I know this is kind of silly.

In my line of work, I frequently create publications for educational programs (PEP).

Many my educational clients insist on naming their programs with Incomprehensible Acronyms that Mean Nothing to Anyone Outside of their Organization (IAMNAOO). It drives me nuts!

I may just be your everyday writer/editor/designer/illustrator, but I also know a little about branding. And naming your thing with a perplexing, hard-to-remember, impossible-to-say acronym that carries no implications or connotations that connect in any way with what the thing is about is—to use some high powered branding terminology—just plain dumb!

I would love to be able to sneak up on these educators while they are sleeping and surgically implant in their heads the idea that meaning should be part of a name! But usually by the time I am hired, the program is already named some sterile, meaningless, off-putting acronym, and it’s too late for them to benefit from my wisdom.

So, for therapeutic reasons, I decided to start an imaginary club called Acronym Haters of America. I named it AHA!

Then, since the first thing I do when I think of anything is to create some merch, I made a Cafepress page full of “AHA!” merchandise.

I later found that I wasn’t the first person to have thought of this painfully ironic club. I did a web search and realized somebody had created the AHCA “Acronym Haters Club of America” on Facebook, but they haven’t posted anything since 2009, so apparently the anti-acronym hysteria has died down a bit.

If I get rich on my AHA! merchandise, I will entertain the idea of splitting the proceeds with the AHCA, for charitable or educational use.

But that might be a while, as I have yet to make my first sale.

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