Off the Wall, April 13
, 2012

Every so often I get an email from someone who has after his name, usually three letters that stand by themselves without so much as an explanation underneath telling the reader what those letters stand for. For instance, I got a communication from a gent I’ll call Curt, who after he spelled out what he wanted to tell me, printed his name on the bottom, and then attached four letters after that that threw me for a loop – SIOP.

OK, now folks, if you saw that, what would come to your mind? My brain cells spit out – ‘Special Ingenuous Operating Person.’ On the next line, I read ‘Vice President,’ so it stands to reason, my conclusion as to the meaning of these letters stood true. Then I learned from this executive that the letters actually stood for ‘Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning.’ Somehow, I like my interpretation better. What do you think?

Priests often have letters after their names. I have browsed over any number of them. Here are three –‘S.J.,’ ‘CSP,’ and ‘OMI.’ If I saw the first, and was not told what it stands for, I may conclude it may be interpreted for an order that has to do with the “sovereignty of Jesus.” Of course, if he lived according to the Scriptures, the letters could point out that he is a ‘sample of Jesus.’ Or how about just, ‘Society of Jubilation.’ That’s close. It really means ‘Society of Jesus.’ Now, how simple is that?

Here is one that caught my eye which razzle-dazzled me for a time – ‘CSP.’ Put it out of your head right now. It has nothing to do with the state police. Neither is it the ‘community of sisters and priests.’ Actually, it stands for ‘Community of St. Paul.’
Last in this category are the letters, ‘OMI.’ I just heard someone say “Pee Vee, finish your thoughts.” OK, OMI tired. Or, OMI going to bed early tonight. Are you happy?

In all truthfulness, OMI stands for ‘Oblates of Mary Immaculate.’

But really, I think it would be fun for all of us to affix letters after our name that would describe each of us in a positive way.

I could put two letters after my barber’s name which would describe his service perfectly – VG or VF, the first, of course – ‘Very Good,’ and the second, ‘Very Fast.’

I’m sold on the idea that each of the fellows who belong to the Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited Chapter in this area have such expertise in their sport that the letters ‘FFE’ (Fly Fishing Expert) should follow their name.

One of these men, the late Russ Mowry, now dabbling his invention in the streams of heaven, and Latrobe resident Ken Igo invented the Green Weenie, a fly that was made with green chenille wound around a hook. Maybe the letters, ‘GWM’ should follow each of their names – ‘Green Weenie Master.’ See how easy and fun this can be?

Just off the top of my head, certain people’s names come to mind, and their associations to particular subject matter. They should be recognized for their contributions to society by these ‘PVAs’ – ‘Pee Vee Abbreviations.’ Here goes – Steve Gordon, ‘BE’ (Boating Expert); Joey Kucinski, ‘MCU’ (Master Cleaner-upper); Smokie, ‘MDL’ (Mail Delivering Legend); Linda Fisher, ‘FDEP’ (Floral Design Expert Plus); Mark Piper, ‘WFE’ (Wholesome Food Expert); Phillip Fronk, ‘CCS,’ (Carp Catching Specialist), Stan Akins, ‘FFF’ (Fishing Frenzy Fellow); Jeremiah Camarote, ‘MLM,’ (Master Latrobe Mechanic); and Joyce Lynn, ‘MAP,’ (Master Advertisement Procurer).

I know someone would argue the case that only those whom have gone through strict schooling should be allowed to have letters by their name. I guess that is true to a certain extent, if you want to look at it from that perspective.

But really, must we always be so serious that we can’t have a little fun every once in a while? I know a number of people from the church I attend that could have the initials put after their name – ‘FLWP’ – that stands for ‘fun loving wonderful people.’ I’d love to group a number of families from our Parish who could easily have the letters put after their name – ‘EGL,’ because they do ‘exemplify God’s love.’

This week, when emailing someone, put some letters after their name that represent something positive about them. You may make them ‘HSP’ – (Happy Spirited Persons).’

- Paul J. Volkmann
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