Thanks to the Internet and cell-phone texting, most people are familiar with Internet slang and “chatspeak.” For example, LOL is “laugh out loud” and BRB is “be right back.”
The updated lexicon has left one U.S. tourism group asking, WTF?
The Wisconsin Tourism Federation, also known as WTF, was founded in 1979, long before Internet chat and texting slang. But unfortunately, their abbreviation eventually became shorthand for the expression “What the …,” you get the idea.
Nobody at WTF seemed to know or care about the vulgar phrase, and the company was the butt of jokes for several years. (Tourists, upon arriving in Wisconsin, might exclaim, “WTF?”) The straw that seemed to break the camel’s back was when the Federation’s logo was featured on Your Logo Makes Me Barf, a blog that showcases regrettable corporate art.
The Federation, a coalition of local trade bodies, has rearranged its initials and changed its name to Tourism Federation of Wisconsin, or TFW.
Now TFW members can say they Travel For Work and enjoy Time For Wine.
There’s no word on whether the World Taekwondo Federation is considering a similar name change.