Being acrimonious about acronyms is a worthy goal. Presidents used to be known by abbreviations. Now there are calls for the new president’s term to be abbreviated by impeachment or the 25th Amendment. My suggestion as a longtime editor would be shorten by language.
Now having worked a year in academia, acronyms surround me. That I expected. What’s been surprising is the shock of campus veterans that their abbreviations are not always understood, even at times within the same classroom building. So I find ways to compel the spelling out of these confusing shortcuts. But like cliches, acronyms have their place
One nostalgic spot where initials were great was in headlines about political leaders — FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ. They’re also smooth to say out loud, which is a key to my editing style. Eisenhower had the easy-to-speak “Ike” so never did we read DDE. In Arkansas, WR was the way the copy desk wrote single-column-wide headlines for Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller in the late 1960s. Nixon fit in narrow columns, the “i” being one of the “l-i-f-t” half-count letters. RMN did not glide on the tongue, and Nixon was only a 5-count, Ford 4 1/2.
I guess the style fell out of favor in the Jimmy Carter years, no JEC.
Last year saw the potential for the return of a need for an leader name abbreviation. Hillary Rodham Clinton would’ve been perfect for headlines in any media as HRC to distinguish instantly from the previous President Clinton. HRC fell, though. The Republican nominee won. Yet I cannot and have not said or written Donald J. Trump in the same sentence after the.
I won’t say the proper noun in the same sentence after the word “president.”
DJT though I’ve used. Don’t need “president,” the letter trio signifies the executive position. Besides, djt is best pronounced as “digit” as in finger. As in, “Did you see what DJT (say Digit) tweeted overnight?”
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One offense that may eventually be tried against DJT (say Digit) is a direct violation of the Constitution, not a law not even an amendment. The one spoken of is Article I, Section 9, Clause 8. That’s rather close to the beginning of the document.
It bans accepting gifts, titles and the like from foreign entities. Wikipedia’s entry labels it the Title of Nobility Clause, but the rule most commonly is called the “Emoluments Clause,” the definition moving away from gift and toward bribe.
The problem is it’s such an 18th-century word. Have you said in the last year? Only a spelling bee champion or cable pundit could use it in a sentence.
Let’s change it, for the sake of DJT (say Digit), to the Emollients Clause.
Here is the paragraph, amended:
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emollient, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state. With consent, emollients may be applied for Congress.”
“Use topical emollient as directed,” West Wing aides can advise DJT (say Digit). “Shake the container if recommended on the label. Some products require priming before use. Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub in gently. If using a stick, pad or soap form of emollient, follow directions for use on the label. Some forms may be flammable and should not be used near high heat or open flame, or applied while smoking. Use as often as needed.”
Copyright 2017 Ben S. Pollock Jr.