By Kathy McCarron, Tire Business staff
AKRON (April 17, 2015) — The madness must stop!
I've seen and dealt with a lot of alphabet soup when it comes to writing stories about the tire industry. I guess it's our fast-paced society (and the media's desire to cut down on ink and space) that drives the habit of abbreviating nearly everything…from food — GMO (“genetically modified organisms”) — to trade groups and even laws.
So we refer to our industry associations as TIA, ACA, TRIB and RMA, and government agencies as NHTSA. EPA, EEOC, FBI and the beloved IRS.
Then there are the acronyms in which abbreviations actually spell out other words. Some are relevant and memorable, such as the TREAD Act of 2000 — Transportation Recall Efficiency, Accountability and Documentation. And some are unfortunate and comical, such as the SNORE racing series, which I'm sure isn't as boring as its acronym purports.
Congress has long enjoyed coming up with acronyms for its legislation where the acronym seems more important than the actual name spelled out. It's seems like a competitive sport on The Hill to come up with the most twisted name possible for a law. Pretzel logic to the umpteenth degree.
I think they've finally gone over the edge, though, with the latest entry: “Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act” or, simply put, “GROW AMERICA.” It makes you look at the name twice to realize, yes, they were actually able to find words to spell out “America.” Must have kept someone up nights conjuring up that word-laden bill.
I'm not familiar with the inner bureaucracy of Congress but I envision an office of five to 10 staffers receiving assignments from senators and congressmen to reverse-engineer names from a desired acronym for their pet legislation proposals. Let's call it the Office of ACRONYM or “Aides Creating Ridiculous, Overlong Names for Young Measures.”
This concept got my creative juices flowing in an effort to do them one better than the GROW AMERICA Act.
If someone in Congress were to introduce a bill that required better cooperation, compromise and mutual respect on the Senate floor to create a better-functioning government (OK, you can stop laughing now), here is my proposal for a name for such an incredible piece of legislation:
“Senators Unilaterally Promoting Equitable, Reasonable, Carefully And Lawfully Investigated, Fair, Rigorous, And Genuinely Instituted Legislation In Session To Increase Constructive EXecution of Positive, Innovative And Legitimately Intelligent Dialogue and Organized Cooperation to Improve Our United States — or SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS.
In keeping with true political fashion, it's something to say when you have nothing to say.
Kathy McCarron is a Tire Business reporter and wordsmith — or TBRAW. By the way…according to an online source, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is defined as a nonsense word used by children to express approval or to represent the longest word in English — that is, until the Grow America Act came trundling down the Beltway. You can reach her at 330-865-6127 or [email protected].
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