Isolated M Glossary

, Here are some Isolated M acronyms, abbreviations, and strange expressions.

AG, RG:  Annual Gatherings (about 2000 attending) and Regional Gatherings (50-200 attending) are weekend events held annually in ten regions of American Mensa. Gatherings have speakers, games, food, and are where one meets fellow Mensans to make new friends.

AMC, AML, MIL Acronym-speak: American Mensa Committee (Mensa members who serve as the board of directors); American Mensa Limited (the legal name of the American national group headquartered in Texas); Mensa International, Ltd (the international organization of which American Mensa is part).

DIM: Direct International Member. A member of Mensa who lives in a country with no national group structure. The Isolated M SIG sends these folks our newsletter in the spirit of welcoming inclusion.

ETAOIN SHRDLU: The approximate order of frequency in which letters occur in ordinary English writing. AEIOU-sometimes Y – well you know that already.

FEGHOOT: A shaggy dog story with a Spoonerism or pun punchline. Isolated M has an active campaign to stamp out Feghoots (wink, wink), but they keep sneaking into the newsletter.

FERDINAND FEGHOOT:  A character created by science fiction author Reginald Bretnor under the pen name Grendel Briarton. Bretnor chronicled Feghoot’s adventures in the multi-year series, Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot! (check Amazon). Each short story ended in a groan-inducing punchline.

FIBONACCI NUMBERS: Those in the series 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21…  Right up there with Pi 3.1415926…  for being infinite.

FSM: Fold, Spindle, and Mutilate: Newsletter production in the old days when we held FSM sessions to fold, staple, and affix mailing labels to newsletters fabricated from tree fibers and delivered by the post office. 

HEGPHOOT: In order to not embarrass Grendel Briarton (aka Reginald Bretnor), the “father of Ferdinand Feghoot,” Harper Fowley created his own hero, Horatio Hegphoot. The resulting stories were no better for the change in name. Reginald Bretnor granted Isolated M the rights to use the Feghoot name so this went away.

HUG DOT: On a Regional Gathering name badge these stick-on dots indicate a member’s hugging preference: RED DOT-Please don’t hug me, YELLOW DOT-Ask first, GREEN DOT-Hug away! The hugging tradition originated in the late 1970s as a way to help members break the ice at a gathering.

ISOLATED M/HARPER FOWLEY SCHOLARSHIP FUND: In honor of Isolated M’s creator, a $600 scholarship is awarded from this fund each year to an undergraduate student pursuing a liberal arts degree, the winner being determined by the scholarship essay contest. Send (tax-deductible) contributions via Credit Card to “IM/Fowley Fund” using the SCHOLARSHIP button on the website’s first page.

LGR: Little Green Rag: The cover color of the Isolated M newsletter and a friendly nickname for it.

LYMPs: Now this one’s really obscure. Only old-time members remember the Little Yellow Map Pins that were the indication of Mensa membership in the ’60s and were worn by some American Mensans in their lapels.

MAP PINS: Head Cluck Darlene Criss (a former editor) placed map pins in a world map in her classroom marking each location from which she received a letter. Today, virtual pins can be viewed on the Isolated M website.

OTHER EDITOR, THE: This is the (imaginary) editor responsible for misspellings, typos, grammatical or contextual errors, glitches in the data base…in fact anything that goes wrong with the LGR.

SIG: A Special Interest Group can be local, national or international like Isolated M. These groups are a way to connect to share and celebrate a specific interest, pursuit, or hobby with like-minded Mensans.

SIGHT: Service of Information, Guidance and Hospitality to Travelers. This network of Mensa volunteers offers assistance to Ms who want to visit their city or country. The Mensa website explains how to use this service.

WEEM: HalloweeM is the second largest Gathering of American Mensa (500+ attending) behind the Annual Gathering. WEEM is held every year in Chicago and, of course, features costumes.

Did we forget anything?  Z-maybe . . .

ZULU: The international phonetic alphabet word for the letter Z.  It is used by amateur radio operators to clarify a spelling.

If you have questions or contributions, just write and ask. We’ll be happy to add definitions.

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