Worst organizational acronym?

My team just went through a pretty significant re-organization and as such are choosing a new name (not yet chosen of this writing). This reminded me that the first organization I worked for in HP was the Response Center Lab, which went by its acronym RCL. After a few months of working in RCL, I was told that the name used to be the Response Center Technology Lab, but that the acronym “RCTL” reminded too many people of the word “rectal” so it was changed.

That trip down memory lane sparked this months question over at LinkedIn Answers:

“What’s the worst acronym for an organization name you ever heard of (or were maybe a part of)?”

Daniel Jatovsky brought up the American Symphony Orchestras League (ASOL).

The armed forces are always good for a few too. Costin Sorin Ionescu submitted Direct Input Limited Duty Officer (DILDO) and Laura Kershner pointed out Armed Forces Radio and Television (AFRTS).

From Louis D’Esposito, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

My favorite, though, came from Shannon Ehlers. Here’s her full text, which is both funny and unexpectedly poignant especially as the people of Iowa are now dealing with another difficult time:

The three letter acronyms assigned to airports are usually not too memorable, but the Sioux Gateway Airport (Sioux City, Iowa) has the three letter acronym SUX.

They lobbied unsuccessfully for a long time to change this with the FAA, but ultimately failed. Instead, they finally embraced it and are now selling “fly SUX” t-shirts, hats, etc.

Trivia: Many remember the Sioux City airport for the “Flight 232” crash in 1989 and the rapid emergency response to the airplane crash widely credited for minimizing loss of life in the accident. The widely publicized news photo of a young boy being rescued has been the basis for a sculpture in Sioux City. That young boy graduated this year.


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2 Responses to “Worst organizational acronym?”

  1. Nancy B Says:

    People Information Security Services – PISS

    quickly changed to…

    People & Resources Information Security Services – PrISS

    yes, with the little r… and that made it soooo much better how? :-)!

  2. Shannon Ehlers Says:

    Hi Pete,

    I was out “vanity surfing” for my name when I came across this post. Thanks for the shout and thanks again for the ‘best’ rating.

    I recall writing that answer and I specifically recall where I was and what I was doing when the plane crashed. Very moving event in a persons life.

    I wanted to correct one little item in your post – I am a male. Don’t feel bad, though, this happens all the time to me (it actually started way back in Kindergarten!).

    I have since posted a photo to my LinkedIn profile to hopefully help in avoiding this in the future.

    Take care,

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