Acronyms: REM R.I.P

Acronyms are very common in the English-speaking world, and there are different types used – people and company names, medical terms, letter-writing and internet-speak. They are especially common in text-lish (the language used in texting – or SMS as the Americans say). An acronym takes the first letter of each word and puts them together to create a short form of saying something. REM, the American rock band have split up. It brings a glittering career to a close and all their fans around the world will be disappointed. BTW do you know what the band name actually means? REM is the acronym for Rapid Eye Movement, usually used when studying sleep. It was particular important for this band, and Michael Stipe, the lead singer, chose this word at random from the dictionary! That was 31 years ago. They called themselves “the band with no goals” i.e. they didn’t have any plans to be world-famous. However, from that moment on they would become one the legendary bands of our time. They practically invented alternative rock, and some argue that there wouldn’t be other such great bands without them e.g. Nirvana or Radiohead. Their music was so influential and popular at the time that they didn’t really need any PR either – their music sold to the public themselves. They also always never acted like they were superstars or VIP’s, as well as highlighting social and political issues which they felt strongly about. Michael Stipe was particularly involved in PETA. When I first discovered them, I used to listen to Automatic for the People 24/7. It’s an incredible album IMO. If you haven’t heard it yet, you should get yourself to an ATM and buy yourself a copy ASAP. One of the all-time great songs is Everybody Hurts; a haunting song which touches everyone the very first time they hear it. It’s also a kind of SOS message for those thinking of suicide. It’s that powerful. They stated that there was no particular reason why they split, but just that they felt it was time to end things. TBH, I haven’t heard any of their recent music, but I will always remember them as part of my growing up. They are a great band to listen to when going on a road trip, chilling out in the summer with the AC on drinking a glass of OJ, or even when doing a bit of DIY. If you want to know more about them, there are lots of websites with FAQs, such as the BBC. There are some people who think they are pretentious but FYI, they will always be one of the all-time great rock bands. RIP REM, thank you for the memories!   Acronyms are usually pronounced by saying each individual letter. There are some exceptions though, for example, ASAP can be pronounced individually as, “A-S-A-P”, but more common now is “ASAP” as one complete word. If writing informally, then no full stop is necessary except for i.e. or e.g. which must always be used.

Common Acronyms Glossary

Acronym Stands for Meaning / used
BTW by the way Used to introduce a new topic that is only connected in a minor way or not at all to the main topic.
i.e. id est (Latin) In other words
e.g. exempli gratia (Latin) For example
PR Public Relations Promoting/advertising
VIP Very Important Person  
PETA People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Animal Organisation
24/7 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Doing something all the time
ATM Automated Teller Machine Cash machine
ASAP As soon as possible Do something when you can
SOS Save Our Souls Help something / someone
IMO In My Opinion Internet / Text speak
TBH To Be Honest Internet / Text speak
AC Air Conditioning  
OJ Orange Juice  
DIY Do-It-Yourself Building or repairing something without professionals
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions Common questions
BBC British Broadcasting Corporation British TV Organisation
FYI For Your Information Just to let you know
RIP Rest in Peace When someone/thing ends or dies


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