What does “UTI” stand for? (And other questionable acronyms)

It’s a possibility that my brain is hardwired so that my initial thoughts are as inappropriate as possible. But years ago, I remember hearing an ad on the radio for Universal Technical Institute–UTI–and I thought, Who would name a school so that it shares the same acronym as “urinary tract infection”?

Recently, I attended a friend’s wedding in Kuna, a nearby town, and down the street from the wedding venue is a daycare incredulously named Kuna Kave Kids. (Note: Kuna is home to the Kuna Caves, an underground lava tube cave system.) My jaw dropped and my boyfriend laughed like a loon at the idea of a daycare donning a name that could be abbreviated as “KKK”–especially considering that the original spelling of “Cave” was altered.

There are others, too: Wisconsin Tourism Federation (WTF), STD Contractors in Michigan, S & M Amusements (arcade sales and service), and PMS Mortgage (www.trustpms.com, as if I’m going to trust something that makes me moody and fat every month), just to name a few.

I'd like to get a quote on herpes, please...

It’s not “grammar,” but it’s another aspect of our language that tends to get overlooked in such a way that some of these people deserve Darwin Awards for their stupidity. A daycare called KKK? Really? And I thought we were teaching our children that the Holocaust was a bad thing.

WTF is up with these acronyms?

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6 thoughts on “What does “UTI” stand for? (And other questionable acronyms)

  1. I have to agree. There are so many times when I see acronyms like those and think, “What were they thinking?!” I’m also predisposed to be aware of these since my initials when read sound the same as my name. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes… well, sometimes you just have to wonder what someone spiked their morning coffee with.

  2. In the electronics world, “STD” is short for “standard”. As in MIL-STD-1311: (US) Military Standard 1311, “Test Methods for electron Tubes”.
    I once ran across a web site devoted to this issue. It contained a number of very weird juxtapositions of acronyms and meanings. I will try to find it.

  3. Haha. Good observations. What are people thinking? I often think of initials when I see a person’s name — some of those can be very unfortunate and I wonder why the parents didn’t think it through.

  4. Julee, I agree, it’s sad when parents don’t spell out their child’s initials before naming them sometimes!

    These are kind of funny, especially the more well-established UTI and PMS. Isn’t WTF relatively new, though? I imagine Wisconsin’s tourism service has been around longer than the explicit wtf…but huh, KKK? Really? Someone wasn’t thinking!

  5. I just stumbled upon this post, and it literally made me laugh out loud. I can relate: the small town I live in has a hair salon on Main Street named “Karen’s Klassic Kuts.” As a high school English teacher, I also see A LOT of really unfortunate errors.

    I love what I’ve seen of your blog so far, and can’t wait to read more hilarious posts!

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