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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 member-at-large.
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 time.
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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