[Many people don’t know about my side job with CACA, LLC. This is my written speech delivered before a convention on September 10, 2014. The parts in brackets below were notes to myself to coach me through it.]
Speaker: Josh Rolph, Associate, Coy Acronym Collator Associates, LLC (CACA LLC)
Thank you for that warm, warm welcome. Thank you. No, thank you. Really. Thank you so much. Thank you. Sit down. Please. Oh, thank you so much. Thank you. [Repeat for as long as needed]
I am here representing Coy Acronym Collator Associates, LLC, a third party auditor of existing acronyms. The “collator” in our name means, “To examine and compare carefully in order to note points of disagreement.” I only say that because sometimes people get us confused with Xerox. We love acronyms, so we stick with CACA, LLC for short.
Recently, we advised dentists, diabetics, and the disabled who were in disagreement over their shared acronym “ADA.” We were brought in to find a solution to prevent a war between the groups.
We joked in the office that if it came to a fist fight, we knew who would win. Our final assessment is currently in clearance at HQ. For updates on this and our other projects, text the word CACA to 12345. I’ll say that one more time. Text CACA to 12345.
Today, I am eager to share my results with you on the acronym with which YOU identify. As I’ve mentioned to some of you throughout the day, CACA, LLC greatly appreciates you retaining us for this highly specialized task.
I’d like to start by asking, what exactly is an acronym?
I’ve spent 14 years in this position asking myself the same question. Put simply, an acronym is an abbreviation of multiple words used to identify an existing business, group or practice, typically by taking the first letter or letters of each word and combining those letters together. These combined letters are intended to help us quickly identify words and phrases. This, my dear friends, is central to what it means to be an acronym.
[PAUSE FOR LAUGHTER]
IBS is concerned with movements, though a completely different type of movement prompted formation of the four letters in your acronym. If you are older than 30, you will recall it beginning as an interchangeable LGBT and GLBT acronym in the 90s.
Both acronyms were coined to draw attention to your collective struggle as distinct minority groups.
Today, LGBT is the standard acronym. I suspect that LGBT gained preference over GLBT because it’s always more polite to put the ladies first.
[PAUSE FOR LAUGHTER. When laughter dies down, begin speaking in HUSHED TONES.]
And it is this very LGBT acronym that brings us together today.
[PAUSE FOR EFFECT. Look up at the CEILING, then DRAMATICALLY SCAN CROWD, then LOOK UP again.]
Now for some history –
When LGBT entered the national dialogue, it was tough to get straight. [Act SURPRISED, add a moderate CHUCKLE] Oh! I mean, retained firmly in the mind. [If necessary, CHUCKLE again]
[PAUSE FOR LAUGHTER. Turn serious again.]
In those early days, LGBT invoked confusion among adherents to the BLT acronym which had less to do with sexual identity and more to do with a sandwich. For a time, LGBT was also confused with the McDLT, another sandwich rising to fame for about two years in the late 80s.
Now that McDLT is a Wikipedia footnote and BLT has been displaced by the wrap, LGBT has no other prominent acronym to get in its way.
But as legitimate as the LGBT acronym has become, it is hardly impregnable. Other letters have wanted in, such as the better-known Q and even the lesser-known I.
As requested by your Board of Directors 15 months ago, CACA, LLC was tasked with revisiting the widely accepted LGBT acronym. Our job was not easy. The stakes were high. We carried the burden of deciding which letters should stay and those, if any, that must go.
As project lead, I tackled this study as an objective H (the H that rhymes with cheddar-oh, not slow-mo) who is neither G, B, nor T and whose physiology is such that I cannot be an L unless I first become a T.
[PAUSE to let that sink in.]
To avoid heated debate, per internal policy, CACA, LLC first attempts to resolve acronym audits numerically.
I don’t want to bore you with the details as it gets a bit technical, but I’ll show you generally what I mean.
[Advance to Slide 1: CACA, LLC A’nymM’trix (A’M’X)™]
You will see that our Acronym or A’nym M’trix or A’M’X™ Division began the numerical assessment by assigning a number one (1) to the L and the G, as both L and G are similar in all but gender. We then moved to the B.
[Slide 2: An Equation to Quantify the Value of B]
Since the Bs cohabit among both my H group and the L and G groups, we first tried a numerical assignment with this equation:
B = ( 1(L) or 1(G) ) + (x)H
As those of you with math backgrounds see, we don’t yet have a value for H.
So our unbiased team of mathematicians with more than 1,427 years of collective experience thought up a simpler method.
[Slide 3: B Equals Zero Point Five]
What they determined is a B is never completely G, therefore, a B is a value less than the whole number 1. Seeing as how a B will always be less than one, we decided it would be appropriate to say a B is about half G. A female B is about half L. Inasmuch as Bs are ½ L or ½ G, the B is therefore assigned a 0.5. Although a B can admittedly be .9 or .1, we thought we would make things simple and assign Bs a 0.5.
We then considered a numerical assignment for the Ts.
After many, many attempts at determining a numerical assignment for a T, a few brains in our A’M’X Division put in their two-weeks notice.
As is our practice when we lose employees over a letter, in this instance a senior team of experts at CACA, LLC decided to remove the T from the acronym until a mathematical solution be fully quantified. Rest assured, we have already ordered a thorough review of our process from a fourth-party auditing group.
In the meantime, let’s proceed to Slide 4.
[Slide 4: Is LGB Good Enough?]
With T out of the picture, we were left with the acronym LGB, which I later learned is the original acronym pre-LGBT. Sixteen executive sessions and many sleepless nights later, it was decided that letters possessing a value of one or greater should be included, so we also dropped the B.
The resulting NUMERICAL acronym?
A simplified LG.
[If they applaud, say authoritatively, “PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE.”]
[Slide 5: Is LG Good Enough?]
For any B or T who does not feel inclined to applaud at my announcement, I should mention that removal from the LGBT acronym does not mean you cannot retain your identifying letter of choice. I don’t have the power to take letters away from anyone.
But don’t lose hope. There is just one problem with the new acronym: LG is also a very large company. It has lots of money. If the LGs adopt the new acronym, we at CACA, LLC fear a lawsuit that looks something like: LG v. LG.
In order to avoid lawsuits and more claims of discrimination, it is CACA, LLC’s very strong recommendation that you NOT adopt the LG acronym.
[Slide 6: How About Q?]
Seven and a half months ago, we reverted back to the original LGBT acronym, disavowed the numerical solution, and considered adding more letters as Q has always contended.
LGBT flows so well with not one but THREE rhyming letters in a row. This is rare in my industry. Three rhymes in a row meets the “Rap Standard.” But the standard that trumps the Rap Standard is “Flow Factor.” In sum, LGBTQ kills the Flow Factor, even after meeting the Rap Standard.
[Slide 7: Expanding the Acronym]
We then earned our high client fee when we stuck to the Flow Factor and found that LGBTQRS has a very nice ring to it. 58% of our A’M’X testers responded favorably to this acronym. The problem LGBTQRS presents is most were not familiar with a minority group of Rs or S’s, and we don’t know how you would feel about adding Redheads and Sikhs to your acronym.
The other fear was that -QRS could be seen as shorthand for plural Q. Since L, G ,B, and T only get one letter, the bottom-heavy LGBTQRS could provide disproportionate weight to Q’s plight. Are you okay with “LGBT-” becoming a mere prefix?
[Slide 8: The Coy in CACA]
Which is why I now put forward an alluring proposal, hence the “Coy” in CACA, LLC. Through many trials and experiments, I have found that nothing compares to the more natural, flowing, rhyming and dare I say melodic…
[Slide 9: Introducing Your New Acronym!]
[CHEER ENTHUSIASTICALLY] LGBTQRSTUV!
[If they applaud, say authoritatively, “PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE.”]
It contains the flowing QRS that concludes with a delightful TUV and an unsaid expectation that there’s still hope for future inclusion of the WXYZs.
Regarding TUV, I’m not sure what the U and V will represent, but I believe we can think of something. That’s what CACA, LLC does best!
Also note that the improved acronym lists the Ts twice, which might send a message of inclusivity and broad acceptance to the letter for which CACA, LLC could not find a number.
And if you’re wondering about the future of IBS, I think it flows just fine the way it is.
[END OF SPEECH]