WTF is SMOF?
Recently I've been seeing the term SMOF show up in my feed quite a bit. The acronym was a new one for me so I started researching it to try and understand. After looking into it, it became clear that SMOF stood for Secret Masters of Fandom.
From what I've been able to ascertain it was coined by Jack L. Chalker, the author of the Well-World novels (which are actually a really good read). This version of the word describes a tongue and cheek conspiracy theory about a secret cabal of science fiction fans who, through their own nefarious means, change the popular tastes and ideas about what constitutes the best in the genre. This appears to have mostly faded into the history of the word. Now it appears that SMOF is often used as a joking way to describe the people who run conventions for nerdy things. When used in this sense it isn't really a pejorative but more of a friendly needling; however, the term has another meaning that is far less kind. In this sense the term is used to describe the sort of boorish, snobbery that tends to characterize those gate keeping schmucks who are constantly delineating who is, and isn't a fan; what constitutes a true fan; and what constitutes the "right-good-fun" as opposed to the "bad-wrong-fun".
The last definition of this word has caused some consternation so recently a new term has been coined by Brad R Torgersen, CHORF, which is being used to separate these jerks from the word.