This new story was released and published on the 29th November 2012. 

It concerns the acronym MSM, which in the armed forces means the Meritorious Service Medal

The recipients of this prestigious Medal are allowed to use the initials MSM after their names rather like a person who is a Member of the British Empire uses MBE.  Some UK honours have attracted other meanings for the associated acronym's, like for example MBE meaning 'my bloody efforts' or OBE meaning 'other buggers efforts', but these are inevitable although nearly always said in fun as a tease. However, they are not purloined to represent another OFFICIAL meaning and for the LONG TERM.

Now, and rather sadly, the Health Protection Agency [HPA] has decided to use the acronym of MSM for "Men {having} Sex {with} Men".  See my email to the HPA below.

What follows comes from the BBC HEALTH website of the 29th November 2012 which I have copied to save breaking a link when the story on the BBC News site is taken down.

Before beginning, have a look at an older story on this page

Now read the BBC'S NEWS Story:-



Now read the purport of my email to the BBC

Date line 30th November 2012 @ 1205.

I have emailed the HPA and this is what I said:-

"Good morning. I note from the BBC News website that your Agency has now purloined {yes, purloined} the acronym MSM to mean 'men having sex with men'. Are you aware of the sensitivity of acronyms or that MSM is already in use for the armed forces meaning the Meritorious Service Medal, awarded to soldiers, sailors and airmen for outstanding merit, and that they use MSM after their names? Your use of the acronym is offensive to many people and its use should be reconsidered, so as to avoid ridicule and an undesirable association to the recipients of this prestigious award. Thank you."

If they respond to my email, I will post their answer below.

Date line 9th December 2012

Obviously it's me being over sensitive for not only was the email above ignored, but the info bytes I sent to owners of the MSM [that's the proper one.....or is it....which IS the proper one?], to Navy News and to other Naval Associations, were ignored too.

Sorry to have wasted your time!