I remember the first time I met some of my husband's Army buddies and their wives. We were dating then so the military lifestyle was all very new to me. I felt like I was in a foreign country and didn't speak the language. No, I felt more like an anthropologist who had been sent to the field to study these strange people who persisted in speaking a very odd tribal language. I heard things like PCS, TDY, NTC, MOS, TLA, DFAC, BAH and BAS. On and on it went.
It didn't take long to figure out that acronyms are just a part of military culture, and the Army has to use them for everything. Apparently, the world will come to an end if military types have to fully pronounce every single word. They seem convinced of that and somewhere along the way, they managed to brainwash me and I now believe it, too.
There was a time when I could have easily embarrassed my husband by not knowing an acronym, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would embarass him by actually using one. Ah well, there's a first for everything, it seems....
My husband came home from work one night last week and I told him I was trying to figure out if I could squeeze attending the upcoming AUSA conference into my schedule.
What's AUSA? he asked. I looked at him like he had two heads.
What's AUSA? Very funny.
He's not laughing.
You're joking, right?
No, I'm not joking. I don't know what it is.
Of course you do. Association of the United States Army. Heellloooo. Anyone home?
Nobody calls is AUSA (as in acronym-speak). It's A-U-S-A.
Well, I call it AUSA.
I've never heard anyone call it AUSA.
Oh yeah, well I spoke to a Public Affairs Officer today and I called it AUSA and she didn't mind.
YOU DID NOT!
Oh yes I did.
My husband seemed horrified and amused at the same time. Mostly horrified, though.
Okay, explain this to me. You people use acronyms for every series of words known to man. Why wouldn't you just acronym A-U-S-U up, too? That makes no sense, whatsoever. None. Why the exception here?
Well, I don't know, but it's just not done.
Why isn't it done? Is there some rule that I'm unaware of?
It's just not done.
Well, I just did it.
I don't think it'll catch on.
Sigh. I've been an Army wife for ages. Ages, I tell you. Never would I have thought that a legitimate acronyming (see, there I go making up language again) of a word would have bewildered my husband and make him laugh out loud. Sheesh, I'm still trying to figure all this stuff out and instead of getting easier, it's getting harder.
Well, hey, I figure I've earned my right to make acronyms out of whole cloth if I want to.
That's IBAW to you.
Incredibly Brilliant Army Wife
I'll call you IMSU (pronounced emsue)
I Make Stuff Up
Funny guy, isn't he?