Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, April 11, 2011

Insanely Irascible Insurance Industry Initialisms

Inconceivable! I'm giving away over $100 in prizes in my From A to Z Contest! (Okay, I concede it's kind of conceivable.)

As a web designer for an insurance and investment company, I'm constantly surrounded by initialisms. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's what most people mistakenly call acronyms.1

Initialisms are everywhere, but insurance and investment companies are rife with them. You can apply for STD coverage because of an STD (short-term disability / sexually transmitted disease). People in RPG can play RPGs on their lunch break (retirement plans group / role-playing games). You can buy an IRA for a member of the IRA (individual retirement account / Irish Republican Army), or get an MF for an MFer (mutual fund, motherfucker).

A CPA in the AARP might get an LTD while under HIPAA, then check an IPO's YTD before discussing ERISA with a TPA and the FDIC. I might be a little off in my usage, but we use all those initialisms, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.2

I have worked in HTSC and on sites for IAS, SRS, SIU, and HPRM (which works off a PPA). I was even briefly part of GSD, which stood for GBD Solutions Design. That's right: an initialism inside another initialism. It's like one of those Russian nesting dolls, only much, much stupider.

And that's the insurance industry for you. TTFN. TTYL.

So, how about you? What insane initialisms do you have to deal with?

1 An acronym is a series of initials said as a word (e.g. SCUBA, LASER, LARP). An initialism is any series of initials, whether it's an acronym or needs to be spelled out by its individual letters (e.g. ABC, IBM, WWJD). Then again, I normally try to pronounce all initialisms as words. I get stranger looks that way.
2 By the way, if you hit the iceberg, you can file a claim with P&C (property &nd casualty).

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, hosted by Talli Roland and seven others. Go check out the other participants!


  1. Too many to list. But we do tend to sit and make up fake ones on our lunch breaks.

  2. I think I'm dizzy now...
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. we pronounce the initialism of Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) as a word.
    It comes out sounding like "BuhWuhWuh".

  4. I'm self employed and work on my own most days, I don't even use words let alone abbreviations !!
    If If I did that would constitute talking to myself which is never a good sign !


  5. Acronym -- I did not know that. I'm excited that I learned something new.

  6. I used to write IEPs for kids with ADHD, but now I'm a SAHM!

  7. I find myself going to Google sometimes to figure what certain acronyms mean. Sometimes they have many meanings and I have to try to figure out the best one to fit what I'm looking for. They can be convenient for sure, but they can also be confusing.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  8. I was once a CTRS in ABI and SCI. Now I'm a SAHM of 3 boys, one with POD-NOS.

    I'm a fellow A-Z challenger and new follower. :)

  9. I had a whole email conversation about sending the FBPs in PDF once the PRF was routed. It looked ridiculous!

  10. Tomorrow I'm going to learn all about coding MARC records to go in the OPAC at a TMQ workshop run by OCLC for members of MCLINC.

  11. I think it's way too late on my side of the world (well, not really...)to even think of any. Thanks for stopping by my blog and talking hockey!

  12. The initialism I deal with most is McD's. Go figure.

  13. I have been on acronym overload for four years now. First working with a County Special District and now through a non-profit. Tomorrow I am doing a tabling event at a State agency where the coordinator has a long list of commonly used acronyms he is making a copy of for me to add to my already long list of acronyms! I think I will be Acronym Queen by the end of the day. Thanks for a great post! I can so relate.

  14. Teen texting.
    Yours are funny.
    and, I don't understand them any more than I do teen texting.

  15. li: Excellent! Fake ones can be just as fun (if not more so).

    Laura: If this made you dizzy, just be glad you didn't stop by on G day...

    Falen: You should drive a Bumwuh to Buhwuhwuh for a Bult (do they serve Bults?), then stop by Dique on the way home, all to make up for the four hours you spent at the Dumv. (And yes, I agree: this was dumv.)

    RJR: You talking to yourself may not be a good sign, but me talking to myself is a really good sign, since it means someone's actually listening to what I have to say.

    Shelli: Glad I could be of assistance. I like purveying knowledge.

    Mama Zen: International Energy Proposals? Wow, exciting stuff! :)

    Lee: And often, the confusion overrides the convenience... which is great, because that's when it's the best fodder for jokes.

    Ciara: Sounds great! I have no idea what any of that means (including the "3").

    TL: I know, right? Sometimes the BAs and PMs want a PSD or RTF as a PDF. WTF!

    Naomi: Tell Marc I said hello.

    Kris: Well, since we're talking initialisms here, I hope your son scores a SH goal during a PP without any PIM to win in OT. (Then to the NHL, perhaps by way of the NCAA.)

    Jeffrey: I can think of worse initialisms to deal with...

    ~Rasz~: Dear Future Queen of the Acronyms, as one of your loyal subjects, I'd love if you could bestow upon me an appropriate title, perhaps something like Squalid Individual of Rubbish (SIR) Nate.

    Mary: Oh, teen texting is a whole separate bout of craziness better left for another day. Next Monday, to be exact.

  16. Being a career Navy guy, my life revolved almost completely around initialisms. Hardly a day went by when we didn't have to deal with them. "OK, PO3, you gotta get this SOP, as seen in the POD, drafted up ASAP, actually PDQ, and, if you don't, you're going to be SOL. But, keep it on the QT."
    In fact, I would have loved working for the BNA (Bureau of Naval Acronyms).

  17. I work as a temp and I can't tell you how annoying it is to go to a new industry every couple month and practically have to learn a new language. Every industry has their own initialisms, but acronyms are worse because they sound like words. That being said I really enjoy temp work because I get to learn a little about a lot of different industries.

  18. Al: Not to mention those SEALS always barking orders-- I mean, thinking their acronym is better than all other acronyms.

    Spenc: Every industry should hand temps and new employees a cheat sheet with all the pertinent abbreviations they'll need to know. It could be called the Sheet of Foremost Acronyms, or SOFA.

  19. I remeber sitting through a lunch with three civil servants and understanding not one word of the conversation which was apparently reasonably funny judging by the smiles abounding

  20. alberta: Or maybe the conversation was boring, and they were smiling simply because they got to sit with you...