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I am reading the book A Voyage for Madman by Peter Nichols. There are some maps on some pages. On those maps, I see the acronym "SFM" and have no idea what it means.

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I looked SFM up on Google and I found lots of stuff about Source Film Maker, which is a software. I don't think this is what it means here...

I also looked on AcronymFinder and I found lots of results. None of them seems to fit the context.

What does this mean?

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    Given that all the other text on the maps orients with the map, but the SFM doesn't, it's likely some kind of meta symbol, in particularly the mapmaker's mark.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 21:20
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    Yeah, sorta looks like the artist's initials.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 21:47
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    This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center. It asks about someone's initials on a diagram. Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 22:12
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    @Edwin How is this not within the scope defined in the help centre? It shows research, it’s clear, and it’s about something which was very reasonably assumed to be some sort of specialised use of English. The fact that the answer turned out to be unrelated to English does not make the question off-topic. Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 1:45
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    @EdwinAshworth That’s a completely different and incomparable scenario. RAB is very obviously initials in HP—it’s a signature in a letter. There is absolutely nothing to indicate that SFM should be initials in this case. It looks like part of the map, and initials are not normal parts of maps; it’s highly unusual, in fact, for map drawers to include their initials as part of book maps like this. The mission statement of the site is far too broad and wishy-washy a concept to be applied to individual questions. It applies to the site, not to whether a question is on-topic or not. Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 11:22

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The first map shows SFM located somewhere notheast of Australia, around 20ºN. The second map, however, shows SFM at a different location, south of the African continent about 40º-50ºS. My conclusion is that SFM is not an acronym for a place on the map. It may be the mapmaker's initials.

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    You are right. I just went to the last page and saw that "All maps by Samuel F. Manning", never knew people put their initials at a place like that...
    – Sweeper
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 21:58
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    How does this match the requirements of ELU? It's worthy of a comment, and close-voting should follow. Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 22:10
  • @Sweeper -- Look at editorial cartoons in a newspaper. The artist almost always has some sort of signature on the image. This is common for many categories of hand drawings.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 2:14

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