Whenever I teach discrete math and use FML to mean Formula the students laugh since its a common acroynm for Fuck My Life. Now they laugh, and I say I know why you are laughing, I know what it means and they laugh even harder.
BUT it got me thinking: Pigeonhole Principle! There are more things we want short acroynms for then there are short acroynms. Below are some I thought of. I am sure there are others, in fact I am sure there are websites of such, but I wanted to see which ones I just happen to know.
AMS- American Math Society and much much more:see here
Dead on Arrival
Department of Aging. Scary!
Earned Run Average in Baseball,
Equal Rights Amendment in politics
Phencyclidine, a drug that you should never take.
Prob. Checkable Proofs. Obscure to the public but not to us.
ADDED LATER: A reader noted Post Correspondence Problem, a good example of a natural undecidable problem.
Irish Republic Army
Internal Retirement Account
Several companies have had rumors they fund terrorism because they were giving their employees IRA's. The headline `Company X funds IRA's' could be misunderstood.
Standard Aptitute Test
Satisfiability (of Boolean Formulas) Obscure to the public but not to us. Actually it may get less obscure as more ``proofs'' resolving P vs NP come out.
Single Jewish Female (in classified ads- more on that later). I think SJF is more common.
Social Justice Warrior (sounds like a good thing but might not be)
Classified ads are a source of many acronyms which can be used to teach combinatorics.
S-single, M-married, W-widowed, D-Divorced, G-Gay (this one I've seen alone making me wonder
about S/M/W/D? I've also seen four-letter acronyms to disambiguate).
B- black, C-Christian, H-Hispanic, J-Jewish, W-White.
M,F- Male, Female, though I am sure there are ways to say other genders.
Great for combinatorics! especially if you add in other ones (like BD)
Wisconsin Tourism Federation
You know what else it means so I won't say it (this is a G-rated blog). When I first saw it I thought `what the fuck?- how could they have screwed up so badly?'
TEACHING TOOL- when teaching PHP (Pigeon hole Principle, not the language PHP which stands for Hypertex PreProcessing, not quite in order, or Personal Home Page) you can use the the fact that
number of concepts GREATER THAN number of 3-letter combos
leads to some 3-letter combos will be used more than once.