June 12, 2002

Three Cheers for Andrew Northrup

The Poor Man

"...The Bush people need to look into creating a Department of Thinking Up Names For Things That Don't Sound Like They Come From Fahrenheit 451. It's stupid that names like that give me the creeps, but they do. (Making matters a billion times worse, "USA PATRIOT" is an acronym! Are we fighting against K.A.O.S.? Can somebody please stop John Ashcroft?) At the same time, it's not stupid. In America, we give things American names. We don't talk about "homelands", and we don't make up wicked radically awesome acronyms for our anti-terrorism bills. We are American. We give things normal-sounding names and then get down to business. The USA PATRIOT Act should be called "The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001" because that's what it is. It's not the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism", because that's about 6000 more words than is needed just so it can be a stupid acronym. "The Department of Homeland Security" is much better, but still all wrong. "Federal Bureau of Investigation" - that's a deeply, profoundly cool name. Professional, of modest length, and without any florid language - I feel comfortable knowing that the FBI (note: not a weird acronym designed to give everyone the willies) is out there, walking around in sensible suits and being all serious and dedicated and professional and not at all like the SS, and then probably going home and putting on some smooth Gil Evans 45's and sipping Manhattans with the missus. Cool. Central Intellegence Agency - very, very cool. National Security Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms - cool, cool, cool. Homeland Security - weird...

Posted by DeLong at June 12, 2002 08:40 PM | TrackBack

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