The following is a very serious question that divides the band’s fans: Is it HIM or H.I.M.? Or is it both? Or is it neither?
One implies meaning beyond this reflexive-pronoun-turned-band-name, the other simply is. One is an acronym while the other is an abbreviation. What’s the difference?
There is a difference between acronyms and abbreviations. An acronym is usually formed by taking the first initials of a phrase or compounded-word and using those initials to form a word that stands for something. Thus NATO, which we pronounce NATOH, is an acronym for North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and LASER (which we pronounce “lazer”), is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. FBI, then, is not really an acronym for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; it is an abbreviation. AIDS is an acronym; HIV is an abbreviation. URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator (World Wide Web address), but many people pronounce it as “Earl,” making it a true acronym, and others insist on pronouncing it as three separate letters, “U * R * L,” thus making it an abbreviation. The jury is still out. (I vote for Uncle Earl.) (via)
So which one is it? And does it really matter?
The band’s logo doesn’t have periods. It’s HIM.
The official website and Facebook do not use periods. The merchandise doesn’t use periods. The band’s official name has no periods, case closed.
So where do the periods come from?
The band’s name is originally His Infernal Majesty, a portmanteau of a song by Decide (“Infernal Majesty”) and a reggae song (His Imperial Majesty). Ville Valo claims that he wanted “a combination of all that stuff…I was smokin’ tons of weed and had dreads, but still I loved death metal and was banging my head against the wall whenever I could.” His Infernal Majesty also evokes Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible, a fact that reinforces accusations that they are a satanic band.
When seeking wider fame, His Infernal Majesty had to compete with similarly named bands like “Infernäl Mäjesty, a Canadian thrash metal band, HiM, an American post-rock band, [and] 4Him, a Contemporary Christian group.” It was through their single “Wicked Game” that the band changed its name to HIM as they are now known.
Periods, or a lack of, are then a matter of choice. I prefer HIM because that’s been the band’s name since I first heard them. Others prefer H.I.M. to avoid confusion in Tumblr’s tags. Still others prefer His Infernal Majesty because that was the first incarnation of the band’s name. Either way, I still laugh when I hear Lady Gaga say, “It doesn’t matter if you love Him or capital H-I-M.”
Why did I choose this song?: “Your Sweet Six Six Six” comes from the first CD where the band uses HIM as their official name. Also, I think it’s a typical song in the band’s oeuvre. The band still plays it on tour (as seen in this video from this year) and is a fan favorite.