Backronym - writercize #88

Most writers and news followers are familiar with acronyms - words or widely recognized initials created from the first initial of each component of a name or phrase.  Some examples include FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), HOMES (a way to remember the great lakes - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior), AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).  A few common words are actually acronyms as well: LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) and RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging) among them. 

You may not be as familiar with backronyms, a word which I mistakenly thought I created until I looked it up.  It's not in Webster, but it is already on wikipedia and urban dictionary and was added to dictionary.com in June 2005.  Too obvious to be a novel idea, I suppose.  A backronym is a concept you are likely familiar with, but haven't previously identified.  It's taking the letters of a word and working them into a memorable sentence to describe or explain the word, or make a pun.  Some examples include Delta Airlines (Don't Even Leave The Airport) or NESW (Never Eat Shredded Wheat - to remember the directions on a compass).  From wikipedia, I learned that backronyms are often used in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA - an acronym) as teaching tools.  For example, DENIAL is "don't even notice I am lying."

writing exercise:  Write a backronym (or two) for your first name.

Click "read more" for the writercizer sample response on Alana.  (It's a harder exercise than it sounds!)
writercizer response:

ALANA:  Actively Looks At Noteworthy Articles
ALANA:  A Little Artsy Nutty Animal
ALANA:  Awfully Literal.  Always Notices Anomalies.


  1. Trying


    that was hard, we hav too many a's =)

  2. Diego: Doesn't Interact Exceptionally Great (w/) Others.

    Okay, that was cheating.

    Diego: Decidedly Introverted, Entirely Geeky One

    Better and more accurate. I wish I had an 'a' to work with...

  3. Tara - I know!! The A's are tough when there are so many!! A few other letters would be nice to work with. ;) I was surprised by how difficult the exercise was...

    Diego - very good! I would have let you pass with the cheat, but glad you persevered. :)

  4. Alma : Always Looking (for) More Abecedisms
    Alma : Absolutely Loves Many Aphthongs
    Alma : Another Lovely Miniature Aztec

    Time to dust off the dictionaries, or pull-up Google...

  5. Brianna is way too long so I'll try Brie:

    Being Right Isn't Easy
    By Running Increase Energy
    Be Real In Everything

    Fun exercise Alana!


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