What Does Their Name Mean?

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Steve Mayer

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Apr 6, 1994, 3:02:03 AM4/6/94
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When R.E.M. first came around in the early 80s, their name was
explained as meaning "rapid eye movement" and a tie-in was made to the
"dreamy" music of "Murmur." But since REM (rapid eye movement) is
pronounced "rim," I was wondering what's up? Maybe the boys were afraid
people would call them "Ream"?! ;-)

David Nichols

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Apr 6, 1994, 9:06:31 AM4/6/94
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In article <smayerCn...@netcom.com>,

Where did you get the idea that REM (as in rapid eye movement) is
pronounced "rim" rather than the way we pronounce the band's name?
Being both an undergrad and grad psychology student, I've been around
a lot of people doing sleep research, and I've never once heard anyone
use that pronunciation.

--
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David Nichols Senior Support Statistician SPSS, Inc.
Phone: (312) 329-3684 Internet: nic...@spss.com Fax: (312) 329-3668
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Anthony M. Desimone

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Apr 6, 1994, 10:21:09 AM4/6/94
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Excerpts from netnews.rec.music.rem: 6-Apr-94 What Does Their Name Mean?
by Steve Ma...@netcom.com


The letters always were and always shall be three ambiguise {?} letters
meaning nothing. that's been known for quite some time now. And the
name of the group for all those "out of time" People is R.E.M. not"rim"
not "rem" or not anything else you could come up with.

My two cents

tony

Message has been deleted

Christopher Michael Gumprich

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Apr 6, 1994, 2:07:23 PM4/6/94
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I kind of like _my_ interpretation of the initials.
Random Enigmatic Mumblings just seems to fit...


--
Chris M. Gumprich umgu...@ccu.umanitoba.ca

"I may not believe in what you say, but I will
defend to the death your right to say it."

James C. Thompson

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Apr 6, 1994, 5:09:07 PM4/6/94
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In article <2nutor$7...@canopus.cc.umanitoba.ca>,

Christopher Michael Gumprich <umgu...@ccu.umanitoba.ca> wrote:
>
>I kind of like _my_ interpretation of the initials.
>Random Enigmatic Mumblings just seems to fit...

I read many years ago that somebody (Billy Bragg?) had said it should
stand for "Really Excellent Men". And I've heard Stipe, in a radio
interview, refute the Rapid Eye Movement thing saying "R.E.M. stands for
anything you want it to".

To put a GNUish self-referential twist on Christopher's suggestion,
how about R.E.M. standing for

REM:
Enigmatic
Mumblings

?
--
_ | "Truth" never set anyone free.
_| ~-. Jim Thompson | It is only *doubt* which will
\, _} ji...@neosoft.com | bring mental emancipation.
\( | --Anton Lavey

Theodore Matula

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Apr 6, 1994, 6:22:09 PM4/6/94
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In article <2nukcb$8...@netnews.upenn.edu>,

Kevin Welch <kwe...@mail.sas.upenn.edu> wrote:
>In article <smayerCn...@netcom.com> sma...@netcom.com (Steve Mayer) write
s:

>This is answered in the faq. REM does in fact mean Rapid Eye Movement.
>But for the band, REM stands for nothing.
>

How nice it would be if artists could manage the meanings of their works long
after they left the production table. We'd have no ambiguity, no confusion and
boring art. One thing that the career of REM should teach us is to not expect
total certainty. I've heard their lyrics refered to as "interpretive," but
while I think this is a misnomer, it's appropriate in that it hints at the need
for some serious interpretation to understand what's going on in a given song,
a given lyric or title or, in fact, in the name of the band.

Yes, REM stands for Rapid eye movement. Yes, REM is the name of the band. NO,
Rapid Eye Movement is not the name of the band, but that doesn't mean it isn't
an appropriate concept to use in interpreting the REM aesthetic. I'll keep my
interpretation short, but there's some close associations to surrealism going
on here. Surrealists believe in destroying false dichotomies between things
like style and substance, dreams and reality, art and life. The dream/reality
dichotomy is particularly pertinent here. Surreal art was made by producing a
dream-like state through meditation. THe resulting works were then supposed to
to be void of rational thought processes. Surreal art, then, was to be
dream-like, pulling it's auditors into a changing consciousness.

The relationship to REM, particularly on their early stuff, should be obvious.
Rem sleep is the stage during which people dream. Stipe's garbled lyrics evoke
a quality as if one is waking from sleep to find someone speaking, or a sense
that you've heard somone speak in a dream but their words are now meaningless
or confjused or forgotten.

I won't go on . . . I think there are more connections to make. But be aware
that authorial intent is not necessarily the, or even a, defining factor in
audience interpretation and understanding. Even if the band wants you to think
the name doesn't refer to rem, they cannot shut off your association of the
two (and probably wouldn't want to).

Robert P. King

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Apr 6, 1994, 8:33:36 PM4/6/94
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In rec.music.rem you write:

The story I've always read is that they picked R.E.M. at random from
a dictionary, so the meaning might not be relevant. I'd hardly describe
their pre-Murmur output as "dreamy," either, so I think that interpretation
was the product of some over-reaching journalist.

An odd side note: Webster's New World Dictionary has R.E.M. as one of
its page headings (that is, it's either the first or last entry on
the page, so the phrase appears in bold at the top). I'm wondering if
that's the edition the band members picked the name out of. Having the
word on top would make it a lot more likely that they would notice it
at random.

Just think -- what would have happened if they'd used a different dictionary?
Would their name now be "Reredos," "Continuate" or "Slop Jar" (page
headings in Merriam-Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary)?

-- Bob King
bob...@well.sf.ca.us

John Calvin

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Apr 7, 1994, 1:30:09 AM4/7/94
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Regarding if they were afraid that their name pronunciation might
be taken as "ream" (some prior post), I remember reading a story a long
time ago that in their early days of touring, crossing the country in
Jefferson's (i think) van, one gig "deep in the heart of Texas" got kind
of scary when the locals made that same connection and got beligerent.
Then Michael shoutedfrom the stage that the name really meant "rear end
men" (ha ha ha) and they got chased out and barely escaped intact.
Anyone else remember this? Pretty funny. I always assumed that
their name stood for "remarkably expressive (emotional, excellent, ect.)
music".

--

"I will hide and you will hide and we shall hide together here..."
- J. M. Stipe

John Calvin Kyle IV jck...@cats.ucsc.edu

Steve Mayer

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Apr 7, 1994, 2:18:22 AM4/7/94
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David Nichols (nic...@spss.com) wrote:
: In article <smayerCn...@netcom.com>,

: Steve Mayer <sma...@netcom.com> wrote:
: >
: > When R.E.M. first came around in the early 80s, their name was
: >explained as meaning "rapid eye movement" and a tie-in was made to the
: >"dreamy" music of "Murmur." But since REM (rapid eye movement) is
: >pronounced "rim," I was wondering what's up? Maybe the boys were afraid
: >people would call them "Ream"?! ;-)

: Where did you get the idea that REM (as in rapid eye movement) is
: pronounced "rim" rather than the way we pronounce the band's name?
: Being both an undergrad and grad psychology student, I've been around
: a lot of people doing sleep research, and I've never once heard anyone
: use that pronunciation.

Well, as a grad psychology student, I've never heard it pronounced as
anything other than "rim." Kind of the same way we say Naf-ta rather than
en-a-ef-tee-a.

02.21.20.20.06.21.03.11

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Apr 7, 1994, 12:33:30 AM4/7/94
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"Anthony M. Desimone" <ad...@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:


>Excerpts from netnews.rec.music.rem: 6-Apr-94 What Does Their Name Mean?

>The letters always were and always shall be three ambiguise {?} letters


>meaning nothing. that's been known for quite some time now. And the
>name of the group for all those "out of time" People is R.E.M. not"rim"
>not "rem" or not anything else you could come up with.

I personally like this interpretation, but here in denver they have a boxed
set called Rapid _Ear_ Movement. It has all of the I.R.S. released cd's in it.
If anyone else has seen this, and know if it was something the marketers at
I.R.S. did without the bands consent, I would love to know.

Mark Toffoli
tof...@benji.colorado.edu

Paul JB Sharples

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Apr 7, 1994, 7:28:23 AM4/7/94
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In article <2nutor$7...@canopus.cc.umanitoba.ca>, umgu...@ccu.umanitoba.ca (Christopher Michael Gumprich) writes:
|>
|> I kind of like _my_ interpretation of the initials.
|> Random Enigmatic Mumblings just seems to fit...

Rapid Ear Movement?

--

Message has been deleted

Michael Baer

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Apr 8, 1994, 4:07:25 PM4/8/94
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In article <smayerCn...@netcom.com>,
Steve Mayer <sma...@netcom.com> wrote:
>


That wasn't an explanation anyone in the band gave; if you look at old
interviews, they said they just wanted a name that wouldn't classify them
as any one type of music. And around then, less bands had initials than
today. One of them once said their grandmother came up with "Remember Every
Moment," which they thought of as nice. But for all we care, it could be
"Raging Existentialist Masturbators." But it's not. It's just R.E.M.

Michael

Steve Mayer

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Apr 9, 1994, 2:18:38 PM4/9/94
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Michael Baer (cal...@soda.berkeley.edu) wrote:
: In article <smayerCn...@netcom.com>,

This is a group that (long ago) said they'd probably never make an
album. They did (actually, they made a few). Then they said they'd never
make a video...
I think it is likely that someone in the group had read the term Rem
but never heard it pronounced. By the time they discovered the mistake,
it was too late, and they have been stuck with their present story ever
since.

Steve Mayer

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Apr 9, 1994, 2:21:53 PM4/9/94
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R. Daniel Ralls (umo...@mcl.ucsb.edu) wrote:
: In <smayerCn...@netcom.com> sma...@netcom.com (Steve Mayer) writes:


: > Well, as a grad psychology student, I've never heard it pronounced as

: >anything other than "rim." Kind of the same way we say Naf-ta rather than
: >en-a-ef-tee-a.

: Not to start an annoying bicker match, but you can also say that
: "ACLU" is pronounced "ay-see-el-yoo" and not "akloo".

Really? I always just say "Anarcho-Communist-Lefist Union." ;-)
I think rem and Nafta look like words that you might find in the
Englsih language, so there is the tendency to pronounce them as words.
Acronyms such as ACLU or CBS don't look like words, so the letters are
prounounced. Just a theory...

timothy mizerak

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Apr 9, 1994, 2:26:06 PM4/9/94
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In article <2nv8dj$i...@sugar.NeoSoft.COM>,

James C. Thompson <ji...@sugar.NeoSoft.COM> wrote:
>I read many years ago that somebody (Billy Bragg?) had said it should
>stand for "Really Excellent Men". And I've heard Stipe, in a radio
>interview, refute the Rapid Eye Movement thing saying "R.E.M. stands for
>anything you want it to".

A few years back Mike Mills was being interviewed on a local radio station
[WPST Trenton, NJ.] I faxed in a few questions and they put them to Mike.
His answer to the meaning of the name was that they got the idea "R.E.M."
from the dictionary or encyclopedia where it was listed as an abbreviation
for "rapid eye movement". But he continued to them it is just three letters
to mean who they are.

Tim
--
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
"Watch the road and memorize | Timothy Mizerak
this life that passed before my eyes, | mi...@cnj.digex.com
nothing is going my way." - R.E.M. |

eva...@yvax.byu.edu

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Apr 13, 1994, 10:43:35 PM4/13/94
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>
> Yes, REM stands for Rapid eye movement. Yes, REM is the name of the band. NO,
> Rapid Eye Movement is not the name of the band, but that doesn't mean it isn't
> an appropriate concept to use in interpreting the REM aesthetic. I'll keep my
> interpretation short, but there's some close associations to surrealism going
> on here. Surrealists believe in destroying false dichotomies between things
> like style and substance, dreams and reality, art and life. The dream/reality
> dichotomy is particularly pertinent here. Surreal art was made by producing a
> dream-like state through meditation. THe resulting works were then supposed to
> to be void of rational thought processes. Surreal art, then, was to be
> dream-like, pulling it's auditors into a changing consciousness.
>
> The relationship to REM, particularly on their early stuff, should be obvious.
> Rem sleep is the stage during which people dream. Stipe's garbled lyrics evoke
> a quality as if one is waking from sleep to find someone speaking, or a sense
> that you've heard somone speak in a dream but their words are now meaningless
> or confjused or forgotten.
>
> I won't go on . . . I think there are more connections to make. But be aware
> that authorial intent is not necessarily the, or even a, defining factor in
> audience interpretation and understanding. Even if the band wants you to think
> the name doesn't refer to rem, they cannot shut off your association of the
> two (and probably wouldn't want to).


ummmm, i think they were just a bar band.

-david

David G. Hill

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Apr 15, 1994, 4:05:13 PM4/15/94
to

One of the interesting sidelines is the evolution of the initials,
independent of what meaning it had.

r. e. m.
R. E. M.
rem
REM

and who knows

R (E) M
R-E-M
R%E%M


crazy, crazy.

-Digit

David G. Hill mond...@aol.com Celebrate 100 tasty years of
Sarah Lawrence Coll. mond...@panix.com B U D W I N E !
"An Old-Fashioned Cherry Soda" "Makes You Glad You're Thirsty!"

--

David G. Hill mond...@aol.com Celebrate 100 tasty years of
Sarah Lawrence Coll. mond...@panix.com B U D W I N E !
"An Old-Fashioned Cherry Soda" "Makes You Glad You're Thirsty!"

lockpi...@delphi.com

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Apr 20, 1994, 11:26:41 PM4/20/94
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The name means nothing in my opinion...it means that was the best one they
found out of all the ones they wrote on their wall that drunken night

Stephen T. Brindle

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May 1, 1994, 4:16:11 AM5/1/94
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lockpi...@delphi.com wrote:
: The name means nothing in my opinion...it means that was the best one they

: found out of all the ones they wrote on their wall that drunken night
:

REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, the period during sleep when you
dream. If you pull up a person's eyelids during REM sleep, you will
notice that their eyes are moving around very quickly, and seem to be
scanning a picture. It is the person's eyes way of reacting to "looking
around" during a dream. And know you know.
--
sbri...@netcom.com

bshi...@drew.drew.edu

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May 1, 1994, 5:08:08 PM5/1/94
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I'm so glad someone has cleared up this misunderstanding.

-brian

The MAXX

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May 1, 1994, 2:37:09 PM5/1/94
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: REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, the period during sleep when you
: dream. If you pull up a person's eyelids during REM sleep, you will
: notice that their eyes are moving around very quickly, and seem to be
: scanning a picture. It is the person's eyes way of reacting to "looking
: around" during a dream. And know you know.
: --
sbri...@netcom.com

Beware, sbrindle, you are gonna get flamed... (not by me, but by someone
soon) because, as a lot of people here will quickly point out to you, 'rem'
does mean Rapid Eye Movement, but the actual band doesn't use their name
as an acronym for anything, they just sort of liked the sound of it, and
how it sounded enigmatic and mysterious.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Anyway, condemning her to an eternity in hell, just because she turned
you down...that's a real shitty thing to do." --Death (Season of Mists)
--------------------------[bad...@wpi.wpi.edu]--------------------------

alans...@gmail.com

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Jul 28, 2018, 1:55:31 PM7/28/18
to
There are 51 definitions here. Take yours:

https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/REM

Ashley Smith

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Sep 18, 2020, 4:53:15 AM9/18/20
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On Saturday, 28 July 2018 at 20:55:31 UTC+3, alans...@gmail.com wrote:
> There are 51 definitions here. Take yours:
>
> https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/REM
Nice necro from 1994!
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