Exclusivity through TLAs

An engineering friend of mine often remarks, ‘What we need is a TLA.’ Sooner or later, someone asks, then he explains, ‘It’s a Three Letter Acronym.’ (Of course, for pedants, TLA isn’t an acronym as it doesn’t spell a word.)

All minority activities (brain surgery, nuclear physics, unicycling etc.) rely on jargon and acronyms to maintain an air of mystique and exclusivity. In unicycling, we have few. UPD is possibly the only one which turns up regularly, and it’s obvious enough that if you drop it casually into conversation with a non unicyclist, they often work it out.

From our own point of view, UPD covers a very wide range of circumstances, so perhaps we need more TLAs.

I suggest:

UPD = UnPlanned Dismount.

UFD = UnForced Dismount. (When you just fall off for no reason.)

OSD = Obstacle Specific Dismount. (When you feel that the UPD is justifiable by the severity of the obstacle.)

NOD = Next Obstacle Dismount. (When you’re so busy looking ahead to the next, and more difficult, obstacle, you trip over the smaller one in front of you. I do this all the time.)

POD = Post Obstacle Dismount. (When you make it through, past or over a really difficult bit, then UPD as soon as you get to the easy bit. I do this all the time too.)

LRD = Lechery Related Dismount: when you’re looking at the curves and bumps, but not the ones on the trail.

And perhaps the most serious of the lot:

NGI = Nose Ground Interface. A really unpleasant UPD.

All of these can be prefixed with ‘ballistic’ where appropriate.

So you get home bruised and bloodied. Your explanation: I did a ballistic LRD and NGI’d. This is bound to impress and gain sympathy, whereas, ‘I was ogling these two birds and fell off in the mud,’ will only cause merriment among those you love.

(US: ‘Birds’ = ‘chicks’?)


Nobody says “chicks” anymore. Do you blokes actually still say “birds”?

What’s with the whole poultry thing, anyhow?

Do men from NZ say “ewes”?

Re: Exclusivity through TLAs

On Sun, 21 Jul 2002 13:53:10 -0500, Mikefule
<Mikefule.85n2n@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>(Of course, for pedants, TLA isn’t an acronym as it doesn’t
>spell a word.)

Think of it as a Three Letter Abbreviation and all will be fine.

Klaas Bil

Re: TLAs

Perhaps that’s how it is in Kyoto, but over here in the happening circles, retro is the new progressive. It’s a post modern ironic thing.


Yeah, yeah. I saw Austin Powers, too. Retro-schmetro. Like, WOW, daddy-O! Does that mean we’ll have to start using real postcards on this forum from now on?

Re: TLAs

No, do ewe???