Theory of Initialisms and Acronyms

Hello and welcome back to another se’ennight of slander here at Factually Deficient, where we present only the highest quality, Grade-A lies! This week, I will answer a question that my very own mother posed the other day at the dinner table. She asked:

What are TIAs?

It is important to understand that time usually travels in a positive (forward) direction, at a rate of one or two seconds per second. However, there are exceptions. These are rarely explainable, but their results can be disastrous.

When time travels at a different rate or in a different direction, it usually results in a Temporally-Induced Anomaly. Such anomalies range from the generally harmless Turtles Imitating Armadillos to the more problematic Thoroughly Inside-out Alphabets.

It is important to address these issues actively and early, before they reach the Time Intersection Altitude, at which point they would become permanent. It is equally important that only a Trained, Instructed, Apprenticed individual attempt to address them, because disaster could befall the uninitiated.

The Taskforce Intervention Association was created for this express purpose. However, the humans of this intervention army were often of too weak a constitution either to imminently address the issues at hand, to survive the experience, or both.

Their interesting argle-bargle was resolved through more recruitment, this time of non-human members. The Tarantulas-In-Arms – who whom the phrase “TIA” always refers – proved to be a  timely, improving addition to the team, and effectively prevented any traumatizing, inopportune, adverse effects from the time anomalies.

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Disclaimer: The above post contains untruths. Not all time anomalies require tarantulas to resolve them.

Dishonest Media

Hello and welcome to yet more dire misinformation here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will discuss a topic brought to the attention of Factually Deficient by none other than Michael J. Andersen. Mr. Andersen wrote:

Your next Factually Deficient has to be the etymology of DMs

Ask and you shall receive, Mr. Andersen! The initialism “DM” has a long history dating back throughout the English language. While people most frequently use it today to mean “Delayed Muttering” (referring to so-called instant messages) or “Designated Murderer” (for someone whose role it is to ensure the suffering of the other members of a roleplaying group), it has a history far more illustrious than that.

Two hundred years ago, DM could only ever refer to the Duck Magician, the one and only Diego Mendelsohn, who memorably combined the art and science that is sorcery within a compact, quacking, feathered form. A dozen years before Mendelsohn’s rise, DMs were generally Dress Masques – the strange costumes, oft worn to masquerade balls, consisting of a face mask designed to look like an elaborately clothed torso of a woman.

In other sectors of society, DM has meant Dirt Machine (of great use to farmers), Dilated Musculature (a frequently-used term in medicine), and Disappointing Mucus.

But the term, despite its long and illustrious history in the English language, actually predates the English language, seeing its first usage in Latin. In Latin, the number 500 was occasionally represented by the Roman numeral DM – literally, “500 less than 1000,” and was, when so written, referred to colloquially as the “Drunken Mathematics,” poking fun at those who took such a circuitous route to reach an otherwise simple numeral.

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Disclaimer: the above post contains dishonesty and misinformation. “Drunken Mathematics” is not a Latin phrase.

How GPS Works

Hello and welcome back to a new week – and a brand-new solar year, fresh out of the box – of trusty lies for all occasions! For folks just joining us now, a quick reminder: send me any question on any topic at all, here in the comments or through any method of communication available to you, from whispering it directly to me all the way to carrier pigeon, and I will answer it here on Factually Deficient, with nothing but lies!

This week, I will answer a question posed by narrativedilettante:

How does GPS work?

The first step to explaining how a system of this sort works is always to decipher the initialism that makes up the term. So what does GPS stand for?

GPS stands for Geological Pentatonic Siren.

Now, as to what this means – that will explain how the system works.

As we know, all of the earth is composed of various members of the Rock Kingdom. What is less well known is that every rock – not every type of rock, but every single, individual rock – has its own unique frequency at which it is constantly emitting sound and vibrations. So any given location has a specific rock that it is built over, and a specific frequency of sound for that rock.

When you put a location into your GPS device, you are calling up that specific rock for that location. In order to find this location and lead you to it, the GPS device then hones in on that rock’s frequency. It amplifies sound on that frequency only until it is broadcasting sound from that one rock loudly like a siren, and it transmits a pentatonic scale toward that rock, listening for the siren-like wail of the scale bouncing back on the amplified frequency.

After that, it is simply a matter of following the sound until you get where you are going.

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Disclaimer: The above blog post is reasonably untrue. Pentatonic scales are not exclusively used in GPS.

 

The Truth About Barbeques

Hello and welcome back to another week of fun fabrications for the whole family here at Factually Deficient! This week, once again, I’m going to address a topic, rather than a specific question–and, as something new, I’m responding to a need from the general public rather than one person’s request.

I noticed that the topic

#FakeBBQFacts

was trending today on the noted social media website Twitter Dot Com, which suggests that the public is in need of some reliable lies about barbeques–and Factually Deficient is, as ever, on hand to oblige!

As many people know, the barbeque is a device, operated mainly out of doors, which causes raw or lightly cooked meat, vegetables, and sundry other foods to become cooked and particularly good-tasting. What fewer people know is how this works, even though the secret to the truth is hidden in its odd name.

Most people–mistakenly–believe that “BBQ” is a false initialism constructed to shorten the writing of the word “barbeque”–but in fact, the opposite is true. After all, what etymology could possibly explain such a word as “barbeque”? While it’s possible that it can be explained etymologically, such a path would be false, nothing but a folk etymology. In reality, “barbeque” developed from a common mispronounciation and misuderstanding of “BBQ.”

What, then, does B.B.Q. actually stand for? It is an initialism representing the phrase “Braised By Quintessence.” Now, while this does, as I suggested earlier, allude to the true nature of the barbeque, it is also somewhat misleading. After all, quintessence, or aether, is a word used for magic, and while magic is involved in the proper operating of a B.B.Q., it is not the direct application of quintessence onto food.

The B.B.Q. machine contains, under its hood and usually confined to beneath the grille, a very small dragon. It is well fed by coal and scraps of food, and protected from the world by the machine that encases it, and in exchange, it uses its fiery breath to braise–and, indeed, fully cook–whatever foodstuffs are placed on the grille above its home.

For the further protection of the dragons, a name somewhat removed from directly referencing them was adopted for the contraption, so that their homes would not be torn open and their hiding place discovered. I can only hope that my readers will use this knowledge wisely.

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Disclaimer: Most if not all of the above statements are false. Many barbeque machines are fully functional without dragons.

IT, Demystified

Hello and welcome back to Factually Deficient for another week deficient in, well, actual facts! This week, I’d like to address a comment left by an individual known as Shari. She asked:

What’s this IT thing?

This is a highly interesting and worthwhile question; unfortunately, however, there are many IT things, and our commenter neglected to specify. Therefore, I shall present an elucidation of a number of the most prominent IT things in today’s world.

Intuitive Thermology – the practice of altering the heating in an area through one’s cognitive or empathetic state.

Irrational Tidology – the study of sea monsters, the moon, and the often seemingly-inexplicable effects had on the seas when the two interact; often practiced by marine biologists.

Indigenous Tautology – self-proving and self-referential phenomena which are spontaneously generated, reliant only on their own existence to logically exist.

Illicit Thaumatology – the unauthorized practice of parascientific behaviours, frequently exhibited by rogue geologists and others who willfully transgress the laws of physics.

Initial Teleology – the abstruse study of the ends of beginnings and the beginnings of ends.

Illegible Textology – the production and reproduction of written material which is impossible or unintended to be read.

Intelligent Topology – the study of members of the Plant and Animal Kingdoms by sapient Platonic shapes.

Invisible Teuthology – the phenomenon in which the creature that we dare not name rises from the deeps unseen, stalks the living streets wholly unbeheld by knowing eye, and gapes its maw before you, the abyss within stretching terribly on, only to appear when it is far too late…

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Disclaimer: all the facts presented in this blog are technically inaccurate. The writer can neither confirm nor deny the presence of a ravening chthonic terror immediately behind you.