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June 2017

The WTF effect: troublesome acronyms in international education

The World Taekwondo Federation caused much amusement over the weekend after announcing it was to change its name because of the ‘negative connotations’ of its acronym. It will now be known as the somewhat snappier World Taekwondo, Melanie Butler writes.

But international education is not without its troublesome acronyms.

As far as we know, India is still sounding the acronym for the Teaching Of Soft Skills in full, although the New Zealand association once cheekily known as Tertiary Institutes Training Services has long since disappeared.

But when the UK Association of Recognised English Language Schools (ARELS) found their chosen new name, the Recognised English Language School Association (RELSA), had already been taken by the Irish, they asked around for other ideas.

They turned down the Gazette’s helpful suggestion that they should go for Association of Recognised Schools of English and became English UK instead. 

When it comes to double entrendres, though, politicians come up trumps. Rumours that the ‘Conservative and Unionist Negotiating Team’ was to negotiate Brexit proved untrue. The Week magazine, however, found that a group of Canadian conservatives really did launch a new political party - the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party - in the year 2000. Its name was changed almost immediately. 

Picture: Eva Rinaldi

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