Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2: What's with "NaBloWriMo" anyway?

It's day 2 of NaBloWriMo, and what I want to know is where that complex abbreviation came from lol. It actually stands for National Blog Writing Month, and my question is, why not just call it "NBWM" for short? It would be a lot easier to type, right? Did combining those letters make it sound like a word of some sort? Trust me, you don't want to write in in all lower case either, because then it looks like this: Nablowrimo. Not blow rim what? It's interesting how things turn out when you say them out loud, just as they are written, but in all lower case, or, as you'll see later, if it's in all caps.

There are several other similar abbreviations out there, denoting other months of the year where some sort of writing is to be accomplished over the course of a month, such as the ever popular NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and several others that I did find earlier, but have somehow been lost to me in the vast reaches of the interwebs. Oh, I remember, one was "NaBloPoMo", short for National Blog Posting Month. Now that one is a real tang twuster, I mean twong tister, er.....tongue twister, there, whew. But hey, no matter how hard it is to say, it's really fun to be able to talk like a Judoon every now and then. (Bonus points to anyone who gets that not so subtle reference to my favorite television show, that is named for a person who is usually in a medical profession......but the main character is decidedly

But I digress.

My first thought was that perhaps those that "coined" the term took a lesson from the U.S. Military. Let me give you an example. This is one that I saw on a very official looking document when I was in the Navy 20 years ago: COMNAVSURFLANT

Wow, what a mouthful. Anyone have a guess as to what it stands for? It's Commander Naval Surface Fleet Atlantic. Yup, it's official business from the top dog of the entire Atlantic Fleet. Now, if you were to take that same abbreviation, and abbreviate it further to only use the first letter of each word, you would get this: CNSFA. That just sits there, flat, and doesn't really "pop" like a good 14 letter abbreviation does. Say it out loud, and it just sounds like you have a runny nose. "SNISFA!" And if that's not bad enough, what if there is another department in the Navy, or, say, even in another branch of the military, that happened to have the same 5 letters in succession? Then you'd have a real problem on your hands, trying to decipher which orders came from which department or branch, and it'd really gum up the works. So, I'd say the longer version  works much better.

So the long abbreviation for National Blog Writing Month? Sure works for me, because if we used "NBWM", well, then we'd all have to write about the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Go ahead, Google "NBWM", and see what comes up first on the list.

I rest my case.

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