September 30, 2002
An Unfortunate Acronym
About four years ago, I was working for a software company, writing programs to control pharmaceutical manufacturing. One of the database tables contained 'analysis standards'. I don't recall exactly what they were, but I do recall that the name of the table was abbreviated to ANAL_STDS. Apparently our database administrator was unfamiliar with the use of 'STDs' to refer to sexually transmitted diseases. He belonged to a mildly bizarre cult that I assumed was quite small and only later realized was the now-famous Falun Gong.
Posted by Dr. Weevil at September 30, 2002 09:15 PM
DBAs are, quite frankly, a different breed of man.
Worked for a company once that had a product for Microsoft Exchange. At first, the directory for the demo program was MSexchange. Eventually, it changed to Msexchange.
"Um... that reads like M sex change," I said.
"No, it doesn't," said somebody else. "Nobody in their right mind would think that."
In less than 2 hours after posting the directory, five customers sent e-mails that demonstrated that they weren't in their right minds.
I work in a precision automation manufacturing company, and once had to send a picture of part of our pneumatic distribution components. I took the picture with a digital camera, and named the resulting jpg "Pneumatic Distribution", and then absent-mindedly shortened the enormous name to something simpler. I put the picture into an email, clicked SEND, and then suddenly looked at the icon representing the picture, with the simple title, "Pneu Dist". I pronounced this aloud, and then burst out laughing. Fortunately, I only received a thank-you reply in return; Fate smiled on me that day. Hope no one else catches it!
My boss wanted me to create a list of questions I'm frequently asked that I don't know the answer to (so that I would find out the answers).
I *soooo* wanted to name it Frequently Unanswered Questions, or FUQ.
I wanted to keep my job more, though.
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area there is a Unitarian church located in Kensington (East Bay, a little north of Berkeley and sharing a ZIP code with part of it) that for many years called itself "First Unitarian Church of Berkeley in Kensington," by way of avoiding an unfortunate acronym. They have since changed the name to something utterly unsusceptible to naughty interpretations (Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley? Something like that), but you can guess what all my musician friends still call the place.
My junior year of high school was the first year that Analytical Geometry was added to the curriculum. The name of the course was abbreviated on the enrollment sheets with the first four letters of each word. Oh, how we laughed... ;-)