I read something for a friend the other day, and in the course of commenting, mentioned one of the factions in her story reminded me of NOHARMM, the National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Men.
Back when I worked at the Wichita Eagle (I was an intern), I did a story on the burgeoning anti-circumcision movement and spoke with people from NOHARMM. It is one of the most memorable acronyms I have run across.
And with that thought in mind, I thought it might be fun today to discuss fun acronyms and whether or not it’s a good idea to create them for fiction?
Acronyms that are memorable and or funny can be good in fiction, because you want your reader to remember. But, they could backfire, if the acronym tone isn’t appropriate for the story. In my novel Life First, two acronyms come up a lot. FoSS, Federation of Surviving States and LMS, life monitoring system.
Those are both fairly straightforward acronyms, and I didn’t try to do anything special with them. It didn’t make sense in the context of the story. The only acronym I wish I’d done something different with was HLFM. Yes. Horrible, now that I’m analyzing it. Stands for high-latency flexible material (yes, you say, it is possible for the name to be worse than the acronym). This fictional fabric turns to dust if you try to stretch it too taut. Part of me wishes I’d given it an acronym like DUST (durable undulating supple textile) or SORRY (stretching out reaps regrets, yelling). But, given the context of where this reference occurred, I don’t think amusing would have been a good fit.
So, are there any acronyms you’ve made up for your writing that you really like? How about any real world acronyms that you love?