Awkward acronyms

“DFMO had her like…” is a phrase that I’ve heard uttered before on the Williams campus. I hate to burst anyone’s purple bubble, but no, that was not taken from Yik Yak. Nevertheless, the origin of this statement is beside the point. What you really need to know is that, yes, those letters actually mean something. What I recently learned is that this ish is spreading like Nutella all across campus. For those of you who haven’t quite caught on to this new lingo, please read on.

If acronyms are not your thing (which is totally fine, don’t worry) then I’ll help you out here: Dance Floor Make-Out. Yeah, it’s probably not what you expected. Nevertheless, it exists and, apparently, here at Williams, it is “all the rage.” Let’s just say that it’s what the kids are doing these days.  Can you avoid it? Probably not.  Will it happen to you at some point during your four years here? Perhaps. Will you hear about it and, more disturbingly, witness it at a First Fridays? Hell to the yes (shout-out to my eager fellow first-years).

But let’s just keep this between you and me. If your parents ask what this acronym stands for, feel free to rattle off a string of intelligent-sounding words in an attempt to appear like the brainy and sophisticated Williams student that you are (or should be). Not only will you manage to conceal this phenomenon from your parents, but you will also successfully reassure your parents that, yes, you are actually putting their tuition dollars to good use. It’s really a win-win situation here.

For example, perhaps you’re feeling like a wannabe math and science whiz (which, by all means, is perfectly acceptable). Well, here’s your opportunity: “Depolymerizing fragments for morphogenic oxidation.”  Or maybe you just want to live a day in the life of Hamlet: “Don’t forget me, Ophelia.” With phrases like those, you’re sure to win your parents’ respect and, more importantly, boost your own ego (which, let’s be real, is always a good thing).  Except when you use it on Williams students. Word to the wise: in the context of the purple bubble, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself with your grandiose definition of the word.

But don’t let that discourage you. Pick up your phone, dial home and try it out. Get jazzy with it. Like Viagra, try one a day. With time and supreme skills in the art of mistruths, you may just succeed.  There’s even a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee if your parents take it the wrong way, so don’t sweat the cost and take a leap of faith! Be adventurous and dare to bring juicy ideas of yours into fruition!

If that pep talk didn’t do the trick for you and you’re the kind of kid who needs the “hard facts,” then pay close attention to my word choice when I say this:  Studies even show that, believe it or not, this strategy works 98.7 percent of the time. Yes, studies were performed, but no, you don’t need to worry about that part. Just take in the beauty of the three significant figures I may or may not have made up and appreciate the precise nature of that statistic (if Cosmopolitan Magazine claims to cite “studies,” then I see no reason why I can’t do the same for the purposes of this argument).

But moving on from Cosmo and such, if you happen to bring up DFMO in conversation, which may or may not occur depending on your level of comfort with the word, all I ask is that you be sure to emphasize its dangerous implications (at that time, I would also recommend pulling out the caution tape and turning on the sirens – you know, just to hammer the point home). If you’re feeling shy, then man up and do it for the children (and by children, I mean your lovely selves and everyone within a five-mile radius of this fine establishment). 

You have the power to make a difference. Well, enough with my spiel. If you take away anything from this article, let it be this: by preventing a DFMO, you can drastically improve the quality of your life and the lives of your peers around you. So, be brave (and just for kicks, be spirited) and be that purple cow who tells those DFMO-engaging hooligans to mooove it. 

In closing, I would like to take a moment of silence for those who have been or are soon to be affected by DFMOs.  Every kiss begins with “k,” but every bad night begins with a DFMO. Enjoy your night, folks, and make good choices.

Hayley Tartell ’18 is from  Miami, Fla. She lives in Williams Hall.