Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alphabet Soup

FBI, CIA, ONI... we're all in the same alphabet soup.
From North by Northwest
One of the biggest challenges for me has been learning the abbreviations for all the U.S. govt. orgs., old and new. The worst ones have nondescript abbrs. and nondescript names ... how, for example, is anyone expected to remember SBA or General Services Administration?

I've divided the list into the common abbrs. (Regular Menu), rarer abbrs. (Specials Menu) and abbrs. for obsolete agencies (Off the Menu). The "Fascinating Facts" column has memorable cluing strategies.

USDA prime
Regular Menu
Abbr. Meaning Fascinating Facts
CIA Central Intelligence Agency Bush Sr. headed it
DEA Drug Enforcement Administration Narc's employer
EPA Environmental Protection Agency M.P.G. determiners
FAA Federal Aviation Administration Part of the D.O.T.
FCC Federal Communications Commission TV monitors
FDA Food and Drug Administration Medicine approval agcy.
GSA General Services Administration Fed. property overseer
IRS Internal Revenue Service Return addressee
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration "The Right Stuff" org.
NEA National Endowment for the Arts PBS funder
NIH National Institutes of Health Medical research agcy.
NSA National Security Agency Govt. code-breaking group
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration Nixon creation of 1970
SSS Selective Service System Subj. of 60's protest
TSA Transportation Security Administration Airport screening org.
USDA United States Department of Agriculture Food stamp agcy.

FBI badge
Specials Menu
Abbr. Meaning Fascinating Facts
ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Org. that does raids
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta-based health org.
EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Fair-hiring grp.
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover's org.
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency Org. created by Carter in 1979
FHA Federal Housing Administration Govt. mortgage provider
FTC Federal Trade Commission National Do Not Call Registry org.
GAO Government Accountability Office Fed. auditors
NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission A.E.C. successor
NSC National Security Council Grp. that meets in the Situation Room
NTSB National Transportation Safety Board Crash-investigating org.
OMB Office of Management and Budget Govt. book balancer
SBA Small Business Administration Govt. loan agency
SEC Securities and Exchange Commission Wall St. watchdog
SSA Social Security Administration Nine-digit no. issuer

Eddie Eagle
Off the Menu
Abbr. Meaning Fascinating Facts
AEC Atomic Energy Commission Nuclear agcy. until 1975
ICC Interstate Commerce Commission Transportation regulator of old
NRA National Recovery Administration Blue Eagle org.
ONI Office of Naval Intelligence Clandestine maritime org.
OPA Office of Price Administration W.W. II ration board agcy.
OSS Office of Strategic Services C.I.A. forerunner
REA Rural Electrification Administration F.D.R.'s wiring program
TVA Tennessee Valley Authority Dam-building org.
USIA United States Information Agency Old Voice of America org.
WPA Works Progress Administration F.D.R. job-creating measure

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