Archive for the ‘crap acronyms’ category

Crap acronym: WINTER

February 19, 2016

WINTER crap acronym

This crap acronym is from the NHS campaign “Stay well this winter”.

Warm (Keep your house warm this winter)

Immunisations (Get your flu vaccination)

Neighbours (Keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives)

Timely (Seek advice from a pharmacist at first sign of illness)

Enough (Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough while pharmacies/surgeries are closed)

Restock (Make sure you have enough food and medicine in the cupboard)

The key messages are basically: heat your house, get your jabs, stock up on food, sort out your meds in advance, see a pharmacist if you’re ill, look out for the old/vulnerable people in your life.







Christmassy crap acronym

December 25, 2015

It’s a Christmassy crap acronym! (Chrapronym?) This is courtesy of the in-house magazine for a health food franchise called The Grape Tree. (Can you guess what the magazine is called?) For those who can’t see the image, it says:

Put Some Real CHEER in Your Hamper

and then spells out CHEER:


Health boosting

Energy packed

Exceptionally nutritious

Rich in minerals, vitamins and protein

A very happy holiday season to all readers of Verbal Tea.

Christmas crap acronym

Crap acronyms: RESPOND

July 14, 2015

RESPOND crap acronymThis is my first ever image post! It’s to illustrate a crap acronym sent in by a reader.

Respond in a timely manner

Engage with customer

Search for solution

Proceed to fix

Or escalate

Note and monitor progress

Deliver resolution

Crap acronym: nuts

March 20, 2013

Today’s crap acronym was sent in by a reader who recently enjoyed a packet of Clancy’s Honey-Roasted Peanuts. On the back, it advertises A, B, C for a Healthy Balance.

Always Eat Healthily.

Snacking as part of a healthy balanced diet is allowed as long as it’s a combination of carbohydrates, fat, protein and fibre, also ensure plenty of fruit and vegetables are eaten.

Be Active.

Always remember to be as active as possible, to burn off any extra calories.

Consume Happy.

Enjoy these snacks as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.

I see this kind of thing a lot these days, from the makers of not-particularly-healthy food. The general message is always the same: this food should be a treat! This food should be the only non-healthy thing you eat today!

Tobacco firms used to argue that cigarette advertising was about persuading existing smokers to change brands, not about encouraging smoking, so there was no point in banning it. (If this was true, then an across-the-board ban on cigarette advertising would be an excellent thing for tobacco firms, because they’d all get a slice of the same pie without having to spend money competing with each other. Funny that they lobbied against it.)

Now snack makers argue that their snack is OK because they don’t expect their customers to eat ANYTHING else sugary, fat-laden or over-salted in a day.

Anyway. The acronym is the usual heady mixture of adverb and verb, with the important bits you’re supposed to remember not actually part of the acronym itself, and bonus preachy paragraphs to explain what it means. I also like “Consume Happy”, which sounds like it’s been awkwardly translated from a different language. This all fails so hard as an acronym. Thanks to the guy who sent this in.

BASE jump

May 22, 2012

What does the “base” in “base jump” stand for? I always thought (not that I thought about it much at all), that “base” just meant a fixed point on land to jump from, as opposed to jumping out of an aeroplane. But now I realise it is in fact a crap acronym. Wikipedia tells me that BASE stands for:


These are the four categories of object you can jump from. The Wikipedia entry helpfully clarifies that “spans” means “bridges” and “earth” means “cliffs”.

Whoever came up with this (Carl Boenish?) had to pick awkward synonyms for two of the words they really wanted to use in order to shoehorn them in. It’s a classic crap acronym.

A stroke of genius

February 17, 2012

This crap acronym (parodying this one) made me laugh. Then feel guilty. Then laugh again.

The original FAST acronym has a problem shared with a lot of crap acronyms: it’s so close to spelling something naturally that the acronym-creator can’t resist a bit of forcing to get it the rest of the way. FAS is perfect: Face, Arms, Speech. And FAST is good because you have to act, well, FAST. So it’s a very human temptation to just shove a T on the end and say “Time to call 999!”

Wisdom, painfully extracted

October 24, 2008

Today’s crap acronym comes from The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas (page 20, if you’re interested)

(W)hat do you want them to learn?
What is their (I)nterest in what you’ve got to say?
How (S)ophisticated are they?
How much (D)etail do they want?
Whom do you want to (O)wn the information?
How can you (M)otivate them to listen to you?

The reader who sent this one in to Verbal Tea comments: “[It’s] so bad it had to become an acrostic. To be fair, it lets down what’s otherwise a very good book.”

Cheshire cheese

October 16, 2008

Today’s crap acronym comes courtesy of a Cheshire voluntary group. They’re called FLUID, which stands for Freedom 2 Love Ur Identity. They’re a gay rights group working with young people.

They lose points for picking a word that actually has something to do with their aims. (I assume FLUID was chosen because they work with people whose sexuality isn’t rigidly defined.) But they still score highly on the crap-o-meter for the fact that the five words in the acronym don’t really match up with the five-letter word they’re meant to be spelling.

I’ve also just noticed that the abbreviation for the kind of people they work with is now LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning). It’s hard to avoid going into an alternative-sexuality version of the Four Yorkshiremen sketch at this point. In my day it were LGB or nothing, and you were glad of it.

No Embrassment

October 14, 2008

This acronym was found in a friend’s spam filter. She suggests that we need a new word for spam acronyms: spackronyms?

C Manifold stock,negligible quantum to use up.
H Also read upright:
E Experienced, trusted, fully-licensed specialists
A Real-time tracking from our place to your doorstep
P Complimentary doctor consultation
Total confidentiality
24×7 customer support
V Shipping is gratuitous regardless of destination
I Discreet Packaging.
A No Embrassment
R Receive it at present moment
A Good luck!

Do you see what they did there?

A story of enlightenment

October 10, 2008

Once there was a poet in search of a good acronym. This poet went to the wise man of the village and said,

“Wise man, I need an acronym for my budding yoga consultancy.”

The wise man replied, “What do you need to spell?”

The poet replied, “I’m trying to spell the name of my company. It’s called Hans Yoga because my name is Hans and I teach yoga. I’m all set for meaningless buzzwords when it comes to the H-A-N-S bit, but I can’t seem to get started on the Y-O-G-A.”

“Then,” said the wise man, “why not just stick the word “yoga” in at the end and hope nobody notices the acronym doesn’t really work any more?”

At that moment, the poet was enlightened.

Health & Happiness
Attitudinal Transformation
New-age Spirituality
Stress-free Success
through YOGA