Blog & News

When Initialisms Go Awry

The online world we live in is becoming increasingly small, forcing groups who wouldn’t normally interact to come face-to-clown face.

Type any three letters into a search engine and you’re bound to get some interesting results. “HRW” gets Human Rights Watch and Hydro Review Worldwide. “VUA” finds a sandwich shop and the Visegrad University Association.

Recently a promoted tweet for a client demonstrated this very point.

The 2nd Annual Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Conference is geared toward connecting mass spectrometry professionals with a desire to interact with other analytical chemists to discuss the examination of trace metals, the analysis of zeolites and other alumino-silicates, and other trending ICP topics.

However, in our progressively shrinking world ICP carries various meanings.

For example, ICP can represent the International Center of Photography in New York.

ICP 2016 is the 16th International Symposium on Intracranial Pressure and Neuromonitoring.

And as a retweet recently reinforced, ICP also represents the Insane Clown Posse, an American hip-hop duo from Detroit with an often misunderstood group of passionate and intense fans.

Although the first interaction with the promoted tweet encouraging Early Bird Registration to the inorganic chemistry conference was less than cordial…


A second reply from a Twitter user familiar with Insane Clown Posse fans (also referred to as Juggalos) was just plain accurate.

ICP Twitter Screentshot

Thanks to Twitter users like @db2fred who are able to demonstrate the effectiveness of skillfully deployed sarcasm, we all get to enjoy the humor inherent in the odd couples created by the plethora of initialisms unexpectedly interacting in the world today.

Bravo @db2fred.



Author Jeremy Butterfield is a former television news reporter turned public relations and content marketing expert. Jeremy brings his newsroom experiences to Access as the Director of Public Relations. Click here to learn more. 

Topics: Social Media