How bad is it to have an unfortunate acronym?


We've all heard the sad story of, where an unintended misreading turned out to be quite unfortunate for them.

What about if the company/product/domain name is fine, but if shortened to an acronym it is just as dodgy? People often acronymize long names...

E.g. Avid Security Software...


asked Nov 25 '10 at 16:27
Avi D
140 points

3 Answers


All publicity is good publicity. And nothing beats free publicity, even for the wrong reasons.

I think for my next venture I am going to start an online Fountain Pen store...
And I think I will specialize in refilling and repairing Antique Fountain Pens!
And I will name it....

Cant go wrong with FREE Supid Buzz.
If you could, kim kardashian would be working at Hooters.

answered Nov 25 '10 at 19:05
2,079 points
  • LOLed more than once! Though the other answers also had good points, together with @Susan's comment on a different answer I think I'm accepting this as my answer... – Avi D 13 years ago
  • Thanks Avid. I actually intentionally give one of my companies the acronym EAD, The company was short lived but called "Elecontric Ads Directory", My partner at the time found more clever words for the 3 letters. EAT A ****. At a minimum it was a fun inside joke between us and our team, and in a weird way was motivational just to be able to laugh at something stupid while working at 4 in the morning. Best of luck to you and of course your A.S.S – Frank 13 years ago


It's unfortunate and worth changing if it distracts from getting stuff done.

In the early '90s I worked for a company that, when founded in the '60s, was called PMS Corporation. Then, in the '80s folks began to understand and recognize Premenstrual syndrome as a real issue. And then the jokes started to the point of distraction. So the company renamed itself PMSC and later other varations.

answered Nov 25 '10 at 18:53
Stu Thompson
173 points


It's bad!

ExpertsExchange actually added a hyphen in their name to try to prevent the misreading. They are actually:

answered Nov 25 '10 at 17:05
1,471 points
  • right, NOW they are. But that is (or was) the domain name, and misreading it is pretty direct. But what about the acronym? Its not like that will be the domain name, and we wont be pushing it... but customers may notice. (Of course, they might be amused by it, but I wouldnt count on it... :) ) – Avi D 13 years ago
  • It sounds like you have already made a gut decision on this. Go with your gut! – Susan Jones 13 years ago
  • @Susan: I kinda *like* that acronym, but think it's probably the little boy in me, that needs to be restrained... – Avi D 13 years ago
  • If you are not going to use ASS as the company name, I personally don't think it's a big deal. You will probably shorten your name to 'Avid' anyway. And don't restrain the little boy! It's often when entrepreneurs allow their business to reflect their personality rather than be 'professional' that they create something of value that other people are attracted to and want to use. – Susan Jones 13 years ago
  • @Susan - thanks, I think that comment was the most helpful answer here. Helped me figure out the right answer for me... But I'm still a tad worried about "enterprises" (my client base) being too stodgy to appreciate it... – Avi D 13 years ago
  • Have a read of Jason Cohen's blog post, You're a little company, now act like one. ( I think you'll find it encouraging! – Susan Jones 13 years ago

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