Monday, May 04, 2009

A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.

     Like many people in America, I spend the haze that is my morning (at least on weekdays) watching The Weather Channel.  It's not so much that I like The Weather Channel (I do though, I love it) but it's that, at 6:39 am long before I've taken a shower or set foot outside or even got within 25 feet of Juan Valdez or any of his caffeinated cronies, the only way for my foggy brain to process information is for it to be repeated over and over to me, every ten minutes on the 8's.  And the friendly local weather is something that I need, because I need to know whether to just walk to work like normal or whether I have to make up some fake errands to do at lunch to I have an excuse to take the car the four blocks to work.  But the bottom line is that I watch The Weather Channel a lot in the morning.  And this morning they were talking about something exciting.  They were talking about Vortex2, or should I say V.O.R.T.E.X.2.  Yeah, that's right.  It's an acronym.
     Vortex2 is a program put on by like a combination of eleventy billion different groups and agencies in which they basically decided to put like 80 vehicles with maybe 160 people inside of them - not in each vehicle, these aren't clown cars we are talking about here, these people aren't Shriners and this is not a parade people - but like two people in each of 80 vehicles, right in front of and around a super dangerous tornado somewhere out in the middle of the Great Plains in order to film, study, and probe the hell out of it with their instruments.  This is all well and good.  I would love to do this someday but it's kind of becoming like the "in" thing to do and so I don't want to do the "in" thing that everyone is doing.  But I still think it's hella-cool (oh yeah, I busted that one out on you, you are going to have to live with that forever) and so I was watching all about it on The Weather Channel.  But then  the guy sprouted out how Vortex was an acronym that stood for Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2 and I was about done with that.
     See, I am not like anti-acronym or anything, but I am becoming concernicus about how people are using acronyms when they really don't need to be.  This is a prime example.  Here's the deal: if you are chasing around tornadoes, you can name your project or experiment or whatever you want to call it Vortex2 just because you want to.  The reason is that tornadoes have a lot of winds spinning around in a circle, which is called a "vortex."  That is the central core of a tornado, that is what you are chasing.  So you can call your project "vortex" if you want to because THEY ARE DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING!.  You don't need to turn it into some retarded acronym that no one is going to care about or think is cool just because you can.
      Seriously, that's not how acronyms work.  That's backward.  All the good acronyms start as something and then become an acronym.  The Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus because your SCUBA equipment; the guy who puts it on you your SCUBA instructor.  It started as the long form and now nobody even knows what SCUBA stands for anymore, save you and I.    Remember this one:  "Mini Me, stop humping the Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation!" Of course not.  Because that became the LASER long before Dr. Evil ever muttered that phrase in the service of comedy.  It wasn't like some scientist in a laboratory somewhere at some high-dollar university was like "Holy shit, this thing is cool.  I think I'm going to call it a laser!" and then they set about figuring out what that meant.  It wasn't like a bunch of physics students were stoned out of their mind at a frat party one night and one of them said "Huh huh, laser.  That's a funny word." and then they busted down to the lab to build one out of old R2D2 parts.  No.  That's not how it works.  Not at all.  But we seem to have forgotten all about that these days.
     So it goes backwards.  We come up with awesome names and then insert a bunch of periods and think we are cool.  Blech. Or should I say B.L.E.C.H. for Barfing up Lame Effluent on my Couch Here.  Yeah, that just happened.  That's how we do it these days.  But it's wrong.  And it pisses me off.  Be Vortex2 just because you want to be Vortex2 and you are all about tornadoes.  Don't be an acronym.  Just be you.  That's all there is to it.

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