First used 10,000 years ago by stone age Britons, an acronym became part of the first known calendar where yearly dates were followed with the letter combination “B.C.” How these early people were aware that there was to be a major event that would occur some 8,000 years in the future remains a mystery, but they documented the passing years in reverse beginning with 8,000 B.C., indicating that there would be a “Big Circumstance” happening eight millennia hence. 

Ever since those ancient times, acronyms from A (for Atomic — like the bomb) to ZOZ (for Zero Over Zero — an economic term indicating a null benefit-to-risk ratio) have become part of nearly every conversation. Acronymia however, goes beyond occasionally dropping in a few letters in the place of words during a casual conversation. Acronymia is a microdisorder identified by the excessive use of acronyms in writing and in conversation and more recently in texting. Indeed, an Acronymiac may construct entire sentences using only acronyms. (E.g., OWSEMM. QCKEP “ANADA” HA. RFLC?)


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Note: There is a sub-order of Acronymia, labeled Anachronistic Acronymia that affects mostly older adults who occasionally sprinkle in acronyms such as SPQR, WPA, BFD, WWI, LSMFT, KMAGYOYO, MMPI and QED.

According to the non-profit Center for Using Actual Words (CUAW), there has been some success in the treatment of Acronymia through a process called “Gradual Alphabetical Replacement” or GAR, whereby, over a matter of months, Acronymists are weaned away from acronym use by eliminating one letter at a time.

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