Tallahassee Area Mensa - Mensa Speak
As with any group, jargon has developed that may sound foreign to newcomers. We want you
to understand what is being said as you make your way about in Mensa society. So as a public
service, we offer the following helpful guide to terms and acronyms you will encounter.
- Executive Committee (ExCom)
- The group of local officers that are responsible for the business of running the local
group. In Tallahassee Area Mensa, the ExCom is comprised of the Local Secretary, the Deputy Local
Secretary, the Editor, the Treasurer, and the Program Chair. The ExCom can also have a
- Local Secretary (LocSec)
- The chief officer of the local group and the main liaison between the local group and
other local groups and American Mensa, Ltd. Some local groups may opt for "President" or
other title, but to the National Office of American Mensa, they are LocSecs.
- Deputy Local Secretary (Vice-LocSec)
- Responsible for taking minutes at all ExCom meetings and acting as LocSec if the LocSec
is absent. Please speak clearly and don't all speak at once.
- The person responsible for all of the group's funds. He is responsible for keeping the
books and making regular reports to the ExCom and the general members (via publication in
the newsletter. Please keep your receipts.
- The person responsible for publishing the local group's newsletter, in our group that
is the MenTally. It is a requirement that the newsletter contain the calendar of
events. This position also keeps all necessary paperwork for the post office to meet the
requirements of the second class permit, do periodic mass-mailings of our newsletter to all
other local groups, and keeps the archives. The toughest job you'll ever love, and definitely
the most rewarding.
- Program Chair
- The person responsible for arranging, setting up, and planning programs. Everyone is
welcome to give suggestions of things to do, the program chair will coordinate them all.
This is a position appointed by the ExCom.
- Member at Large
- The person (or persons) who have a vote on matters brought before the ExCom, and
does other duties as directed.
- The person responsible for administering the Mensa admission tests.
- Stands for Service, Information, Guidance and Hospitality for Travelers. This person
provides information on the local area for any Mensans who visit from out of town, out of
state, or out of country.
- AG - Annual Gathering
- The AG is the annual gathering of American Mensa, Ltd. It is usually held around July
4th and the location changes every year. It lasts for five days and has fun,
entertainment, food, activities, educational talks, food, chocolate, field trips, food,
and an all-round great time. The U.S. and Canada shared a joint AG in 1988.
- AMC - American Mensa Committee
- The executive body of American Mensa, Ltd. It consists of elected officers - Chair, first
and second Vice-Chairs, two Past Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Vice-Chair for each of
the ten U.S. Regions (RVCs) - and several and appointed officials.
- AML - American Mensa, Limited
- The official name for our society in the United States of America.
- ASIE - Actions Still in Effect
- The Constitution of Mensa spell out the requirements on how the AMC must act.
Acting within those requirements, the AMC takes various actions and those actions are
compiled in to a list known as Actions Still in Effect. The list of ASIEs is maintained
and updated after each AMC meeting by adding newly adopted actions and removing ones
that have been superseded or rendered obsolete.
- The listing of events open to all Mensans and their invited guests.
- The Bulletin
- National Mensa's monthly publication.
- A gathering for serious thought, not just for fun.
- Has various definitions: someone with an I.Q. in the bottom two percent, someone with
an I.Q. score in the 97th percentile or lower, a Mensan acting like a fool or a
jerk (often accompanied by shouts of "Re-test!"), add your own definition.
- A shaggy-dog type joke with a pun as the punch line; for example, "Pardon me, Roy, is
that the cat who chewed your new shoes?"
- FSM - Fold, Spindle, and Mutilate
- Some groups hold FSM sessions to fold, staple, and affix the mailing labels to their
newsletters. Tallahassee Area Mensa currently does not hold such sessions, although I'm sure the
editor would be happy to have an extra hand. The term is a throw back to the days of punch
cards for standardized tests and the students were given strict instructions to not fold,
spindle, or mutilate them.
- IBD - International Board of Directors
- Probably self-explanatory, the Board of Directors for Mensa International.
- A newsletter for anyone who wants to know more about what is going on with the AMC and
the national office. It was targeted at LocSecs, Editors, and other local officers, but
anyone can subscribe and subscription is free to any member.
- Isolated M
- A newsletter for Mensans who can't participate in local group activities.
- Local Group
- There are more than 130 local groups and Mensans are assigned to a local group based
on their geographical location. Local groups can cover huge areas, like the entire state of
North Dakota, or smaller areas with high populations, like New York City. A member can join a
different local group by preference, so while you may reside in Tallahassee, you may be a
member of Tampa Bay by preference.
- M - A gender-neutral term for a Mensan
- Genders can be illustrated by FM (Female Mensan) or MM (Male Mensan). Other letters can
be added to denote marital status (SFM - Single Female Mensan) or other personal qualities.
Be aware of alphabet soup that no one can decipher. The founders of Mensa originally wanted
to name the society Mens, the Latin word for "mind," but were afraid of being confused with a
magazine called Men Only. Mensa, on the other hand, was the first Latin word most students
learned in the 1940s (it means "table"). The founders envisioned a round-table society in
which all were equal, since the only criterion for membership is to be in the top two percent
of whatever intelligence test you had taken. They also thought a lot of people would be
reminded of the Latin tag mens sana in corpore sano, "a healthy mind in a healthy body." The
logo is meant to denote a globe (for the world) resting on a table (for Mensa) in the shape
of an M.
- The official newsletter of Tallahassee Area Mensa.
- MERF - Mensa Educational Research Foundation
- Now called The Mensa Foundation, but you will likely still hear "MERF" from time to
- Shorthand for the National Office, the AMC, or the AML.
- NomComm - Nominating Committee
- Person(s) responsible for locating members willing to serve on the ExCom and provide said
list of persons to the ExCom and newsletter editor for printing of ballots.
- The person who acts as a mediator to help settle complaints and ease unhappiness.
- "Any of numerous, chiefly nocturnal birds of prey, of the order Strigiformes, having a
broad head with large, forward-directed eyes that are usually surrounded by disks of modified
feathers." But you knew that, didn't you? As you all probably know, Athena was the Greek
goddess of wisdom and owls were sacred to her. Anyone who saw Clash of the Titans
will recall Athena risking Zeus' wrath when she refused to give her owl to Odyseus, but had a
metal one made for him instead. The owl has become the unofficial mascot of Mensa and you
will see lots of them scattered about, check out the Mensa Boutique.
- Our monthly gathering at a local restaurant. I no longer recall the complete acronym,
something along the lines of perennially insatiable gourmands special interest group.
- Region 10
- The region of American Mensa, Ltd. to which Tallahassee Area Mensa belongs. Region 10 is the
entire state of Florida, including a bit of a bump in the Georgia that is part of Tallahassee
Mensa. Some years back Florida was part of Region 5, the Southeast Region, but Florida was
broken out in to its own separate region because it had more local groups all by itself than
did any other state in Region 5 (and even more than some other regions had).
- An exclamation in jest usually interjected when a Mensan does or says something out of
keeping with their normal high intelligence.
- RG - Regional Gathering
- Regional Gatherings are sponsored by local groups and can be attended by any member who
wishes to attend. Some people will travel great distances to attend RGs that are known to
be outstanding. They are generally held in hotels, so out of town visitors can stay on site.
The local group usually has worked out a deal with the hotel for group rates, so it is often
a less expensive way to play tourist in another town. Like the AG you will find games, fun,
food, parties, lectures, speakers, impromtu events, and often there will be field trips to
give folks a taste of the local area. Bring your family and have a fun-filled vacation!
- RVC - Regional Vice-Chair
- This is an elected office that is elected by and represents their region on the AMC. The
RVC can be a wonderful resource for the local groups as well as working to develop the region
as a whole.
- SIG - Special Interest Group
- There are more than 150 SIGs in Mensa and their purpose is to bring people together who
have a shared interest. There are national SIGs as well as local SIGs. The topics and areas
available in the SIGs are as wide and varied as the membership of Mensa itself.
- Yellow Map Tack
- A yellow map tack was worn by Mensans in the early days as a sign of membership. You
will still see them about at AGs and RGs.
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Mensa® and the Mensa logo (as depicted for example in U.S. TM Reg. No. 1,405,381) are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by American Mensa, Ltd., and are registered in other countries by Mensa International Limited and/or affiliated national Mensa organizations. Mensa does not hold any
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