May 02 2009

I say.

Published by at 8:00 am under Media

The acronym for the World Health Organization has been adding a little amusement into my morning lately.

I have a gadget on my iGoogle page which pulls the top headlines from CNN.  For the last few days, the three top headlines have been about swine flu, and the World Health Organization usually figures in to at least one of them.  And since you are generally pressed for space in a headline, the World Health Organization gets abbreviated to WHO.  This makes is much more fun to read the headlines, if you decide that CNN is being cocky and antagonistic.  Instead of “Number of H1N1 cases jumps to 615, World Health Organization says”.  You can read it as:

“Number of N1N1 cases jumps to 615.”
“WHO SAYS?!”

Some of the bullet points also come off as quite paranoid if read in the proper tone:
“WHO is reporting 615 cases of h1n1 virus in 15 countries”.  That’s right, CNN, just WHO IS REPORTING THIS?!

Or in an article from Time, “Still, the WHO has urged all governments to prepare for an imminent pandemic.”  Stay out of government affairs, Pete Townshend!

I get the same funny out of hearing headlines about the World Wildlife Fund, because in my childhood, WWF meant Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.  So, when a commercial tells me that the WWF is working hard to preserve the Amazon, or to protect a certain species of animal…well, let’s just say the mental picture that conjures is probably not what the makers of the commercial intended.

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