Backronym

A while ago, I was talking with about backronyms with Corwin.

For those of you not already acquainted, a backronym is the reverse of an acronym. With an acronym, you start with the initial or leading letters of a phrase and make a word out of them. Examples are radar from RAdio Detection And Ranging and scuba from Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. With a backronym, someoneĀ thinks that it’s clever to start with a word and then make up a phrase from its letters.

A famous example is the song “Mother” which starts with “M Is for the Many things she gave me”.

A particularly awful example was Morgan’s high school graduation. The speaker had nothing to say. Instead, she started with some inspiring word, let’s say “future”, and filled it in with “fortitude”, “usefulness”, “tenacity”, etc. It was one mindless platitude after another.

There is no inherent connection between the starting word and the result. It can be anything.

Fortitude.
Usefulness.
Competitiveness.
Knowledge.

BTW, in case it comes up, I probably shouldn’t give a speech at a graduation.

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