Resolution: Less Whining

For each brand new year I try to come up with at least one resolution that I can keep.

It is hard.

As I was reading the paper this morning about adults going to college at WGU Missouri and then as I read a craft article in a writers’ magazine about laws like GDPR regarding emails, I felt my less-whining resolution dissolve a tad. I had to go to the website to find in small print that WGU stands for Western Governors University, and Google told me the email law is the General Data Protection Regulation.

In high school journalism class, we were taught to identify something first, then if we wanted to use initials for it later, put them in parentheses. For instance: National Football League (NFL). Okay, most people know this acronym, so it’s probably not a good example.

Other unexplained acronyms in today’s paper include some that are in the common vernacular. COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease of 2019. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.[1] NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. UFO that all my life stood for unidentified flying object was recently renamed by US officials as any perceived unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).[2]

That leads me to Stanford’s Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI). I know language changes over time, but these folks have gone too far. Instead of saying you are an American, EHLI recommends saying you are a US citizen. Using American implies that the United States of America is the most important country in North, Central, and South America, and that might hurt someone’s feelings. Never mind that none of the other countries’ names end in the word America, so American seems like the logical choice. We say Venezuelan, Honduran, Mexican. Notice they all end in n to denote someone who lives in that country.

Aahhhh. [3] My resolution to whine less has gotten off to a rocky start.

[1] Of course, I don’t know what that acid is, but I do know how to insert a footnote.

[2] Really? UFO is fine, and I’m sticking with it in case I see a flying saucer.

[3] Big sigh.