Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Supremes!

I believe I have told the story over a million times, about the time I was in on a meeting in which a certain police department was attempting to quantify and reduce the number of erroneous calls from robot break-in surveillance and intrusion detector systems.

The committee formed to deal with the problem was called the False Alarm Reduction Team. 

And then, not long before my glorious retirement day, a certain agency I knew of that dealt with licensing local affairs decided to change its name from Permits and Inspections to PIA, for Permits, Inspections and Approvals.

Eagle-eyed wags in the courthouse rushed to point out the unfortunate acronym, and they switched it to Permits, Approvals, and Inspections.

I think the problem is that the sort of people who are in charge of coming up with names for important groups and agencies are not usually the sort of people who pay attention to snarky funny stuff like what's hilarious about saying that Hugh Jackman's real last name is Janus.

I see that the people at George Mason University need a humor advisor on their staff, as well. 

"Well, your honor, it was like this..."
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin "The King of All Free Vacations" Scalia, who passed away while being treated to a luxury weekend by people who had cases before the Court, is still getting a law school named for him anyway.

OK.  It's their law school.  They could name it for Pee-Wee Herman, for all I care. 

But naming it for the beloved, distinguished actor and star of the beloved "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" television show and movies such as "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" would have given the school the initials P-WHSoL. 

That's not even remotely funny.

The Antonin Scalia School of Law, on the other hand, is.

The name of the school’s dean is Henry N. Butler.  I wish it were Oliver Closoff or Yuri Nator, but it's Henry N. Butler, and when he got the word from someone whispering into his ear that ASSoL made people giggle, he dashed off a letter to students, faculty members and alumni saying the school plans to make a small change in the name to achieve a more benign abbreviation.

“The name initially announced — the Antonin Scalia School of Law — has caused some acronym controversy on social media,” Mr. Butler wrote, without repeating any of the offending acronyms. “The Antonin Scalia Law School is a logical substitute.”

Acronym controversy.  Oh those crazy Washingtonians. Remember the Federal Air Transport Armed Security Service?

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