GOP No More!
December 2, 2002 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Want to talk about GOP? Not in the WSJ! The latest WSJ internal style guide has banned the use of GOP (Grand Old Party) as a reference that too few would be familar with. Republicans seem to find it amusing, considering their domain name, however. I'd just been speaking about this to a colleague a few days ago when someone at lunch asked what a GOP was. Do the other mediums follow suit? Is this as big a deal as some publications using the term "homicide bomber" instead of "suicide bomber?"
posted by djspicerack (34 comments total)

 
Please excuse my US-centric comment above, not clarifying the WSJ being the Wall St. Journal.
posted by djspicerack at 9:37 AM on December 2, 2002


This is one issue, one very rare issue, in which I agree with the WSJ.

My choice for reference would be to remove the re prefix as an accurate description of this political party.

Publicans....ahhhhh...that's it! :-)
posted by nofundy at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2002


I don't think this is really that bad of an idea. I am sure that there are many people who have no clue as to what the GOP is (or the RNC or DNC, for that matter)...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:41 AM on December 2, 2002


how DARE they insult God's Own Party like that!
posted by quonsar at 9:55 AM on December 2, 2002


They should ban all TLAs.
posted by timeistight at 10:01 AM on December 2, 2002


I *love* how the next item down in the Post story is about "Retooling the Illinois GOP." hee-hee.
posted by Vidiot at 10:02 AM on December 2, 2002


At least on a post about a style guide, I can comment that "mediums" are spiritualists; in your meaning the plural of medium is media. Whee, didactic.
posted by nicwolff at 10:15 AM on December 2, 2002


medium, or manner, through which something is conveyed, yes. i.e. newspaper, magazine, radio, or television in this case. Just as media is used for describing what kind of materials make up your art, as in "mixed media." If anything, I should have said "the rest of the media" or whatever. =)
posted by djspicerack at 10:20 AM on December 2, 2002


related editorial
posted by oissubke at 10:22 AM on December 2, 2002


"I'm a nominee of the G.O.P. or GOP,
But if, Baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!"
Cole Porter, You're the Top, 1934
posted by liam at 10:55 AM on December 2, 2002


My roommate thought GOP stood for Government Opposition Party.

We had a good laugh about that.

She's from China, though. Apparently that's a common political term there.
posted by katieinshoes at 11:01 AM on December 2, 2002


I seem to recall that in the 80's Reagan made reference to changing the meaning of the GOP to "Great Opportunity Party." God Bless Google, check out this speech from 1984. (and a side note: scary to think that this speech could well have been given by GW in the last six months.)
posted by moses at 11:21 AM on December 2, 2002


If you think about what GOP means, and where its roots are in american history, i find it hard to believe that any minority voters would feel comfortable voting for republicans. Sadly i am mistaken, or they are misinformed. The party ideals haven't really changed since slavery, in South Carolina gerry mandering is still very prevalent, and the GOP is in charge. I find it hard to believe that nationwide things are much different.
posted by sourbrew at 11:50 AM on December 2, 2002


You think its scary in South Carolina how about THIS!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:55 AM on December 2, 2002


I knew what GOP referred to long before I knew what it stood for. But then, this is the only GOP I ever cared for. While we're at it, though, could we do away with "Party of Lincoln," as well?
posted by mikrophon at 12:13 PM on December 2, 2002


If you think about what GOP means, and where its roots are in american history, i find it hard to believe that any minority voters would feel comfortable voting for republicans.

*coughs*

You mean, being the party of Lincoln?

Gerrymandering is prevalent everywhere. It all depends on who's in charge.

[on preview: mikrophone: forgive this one trespass...]
posted by claxton6 at 12:13 PM on December 2, 2002


If you think about what GOP means, and where its roots are in american history, i find it hard to believe that any minority voters would feel comfortable voting for republicans.

If you mean by 'roots' the two ideals: free land and preventing the spread of slavery into the Western territories, then you have lost me as to why minorities would not vote for the GOP. There may be other reason why one chooses to not vote for a Republican, but I think the founding roots have little to do with it.

On Preview: could we do away with "Party of Lincoln," as well?

What exactly is that to mean?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:15 PM on December 2, 2002


Funny GOP related flash silliness from those wacky Republicans!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:23 PM on December 2, 2002


If you think about what GOP means, and where its roots are in American history, i find it hard to believe that any minority voters would feel comfortable voting for republicans. Sadly i am mistaken, or they are misinformed. The party ideals haven't really changed since slavery,

I know, I can't believe those crazy republicans ended slavery like that. How horrid!
posted by delmoi at 12:51 PM on December 2, 2002


On Preview: could we do away with "Party of Lincoln," as well? What exactly is that to mean?

It means, let's do what we seem to be doing here, making a distinction between the roots of republicanism vs. the Republican Party's current platform. The Republican party's platform has done a virtual 180 since the Civil War, most clearly marked by the Strom and Dixiecrats' split from the Dems and eventual siding with the Republicans. "Party of Lincoln" seems to imply having the concerns of "minorities," especially African Americans, in mind, when in fact all it means is, "The party that Lincoln was a member of was called the Republican Party."

I know, I can't believe those crazy republicans ended slavery like that. How horrid!

Not even the above-mentioned Strom was alive then. Just like present-day Southern whites can't be held responsible for the crimes of slavery, modern-day Republicans can't be given credit for ending slavery.
posted by mikrophon at 1:06 PM on December 2, 2002


maybe the party of lincoln can free the minorities that are locked up in prison for all the bs nonviolent "drug war" "crimes" like getting pinched with an eighth in their pocket and a 6th grade education.

dont kid yourselves. i dont think theres one GOP member who ever thinks "what would Abraham do?"
posted by tsarfan at 1:42 PM on December 2, 2002


I included the abbreviation "GOP" in a presentation in class the other day, and the only recurring feedback I got afterwards was people asking what it stood for. This was to college seniors. I was really surprised, because it's not that uncommon, and if you pay even a small amount of attention to national politics you have probably heard it before.

I guess I respect the Journal's right to impose a certain style on the content it prints. But in another way I think it's sad that media has to bow to its business model and lower the complexity of what it's saying in order to keep consumers from being uncomfortable. To a certain degree newspapers should present you with terms that you may be unfamiliar with as a matter of course. What are we opening the paper for if not to learn something?
posted by Hildago at 1:50 PM on December 2, 2002


The latest WSJ internal style guide has banned the use of GOP (Grand Old Party) as a reference that too few would be familiar with.

Yeah, it only took one question when I was like 14 to figure that great mystery out. Now the WSJ should abandon using terms like OPEC and NAFTA and other tricky initialisms. Also quit referencing obscure countries like Malawi and Qatar. We don't know about them, so what good is it going to do to talk about them? Also no more extravagant vocabulary words like 'culpable' or 'ameliorate'. The goal of language is communication, so please WSJ, use only the words that everybody knows (i.e. 5th grade vocabulary). God forbid a newspaper should do anything like provoke a question or introduce a new word or idea.
posted by dgaicun at 2:08 PM on December 2, 2002


Am I the only one that's amused that the WP is reporting on the WSJ? Ok, maybe it is just me ;).
posted by abischof at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2002


We don't know about them, so what good is it going to do to talk about them?

I think, more to the point, they are trying to avoid referring to a publicly recognized figure or organization by the abbreviation of their nickname (like referring to Michael Jackson exclusively as "The K.O.P.") instead of by their well known proper name, i.e. The Republican Party.
posted by mikrophon at 2:38 PM on December 2, 2002


The Bomber Syllogism: All bombers are homicide bombers.
Some bombers are suicide bombers

To label all bombers homicide bombers, regardless if they intentionall killed themselves in the blast or not, is erroneous and vague.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:49 PM on December 2, 2002


mikrophon: read what I was responding to. The guy said the republican party hadn't changed since slave-times and was shocked people voted for him. Which I found to be an idiotic sentiment.


And how exactly are the current republicans pro-slave?
posted by delmoi at 2:57 PM on December 2, 2002


And how exactly are the current republicans pro-slave?

Didn't you get the memo?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:34 PM on December 2, 2002


I have always thought "GOP" was pretty stupid and pretentious, but it does exist and is in very common usage. Rather than cater to the ever-increasing ignorance of the American public by dumbing down to the LCD, the WSJ would do better to start including a glossary of potentially unfamiliar terms, thereby helping to educate their readers.
posted by rushmc at 7:49 PM on December 2, 2002


Didn't you get the memo?

And they bake kittens into cookies!
posted by hama7 at 8:10 PM on December 2, 2002


Terms go archaic, that's language. Removing a term not in common usage for another that is isn't lowering your standards at all. Its just recognizing that as we get new words, we also lose old ones.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:20 PM on December 2, 2002


Didn't you get the memo?

Hey! Check us out!
Have you seen us lately?
We're the new GOP,
And we're 100% pro-slave!
posted by mikrophon at 6:11 AM on December 3, 2002


mikrophon: read what I was responding to.

I stand by my grumbling curmudgeonry.
posted by mikrophon at 6:13 AM on December 3, 2002


Removing a term not in common usage for another that is isn't lowering your standards at all.

That's true. The point is, this particular term IS in common usage. Check around a bit.
posted by rushmc at 8:12 AM on December 3, 2002


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