you bet your professional association ...
i remember precious little from my brief tenure writing for the cardinal, but three journalistic conventions stuck with me: (1) always refer to one's beloved home institution as the University; (2) no apostrophe is needed when referring to the 1960s or some other period of time; and, (3) never ever abbreviate words such as association, associate, or assistant.
i guess that's why it struck me as bizarre to learn that my favorite sociological association carried an unfortunate moniker for most of its history. that's right, from 1905 until 1959, the ASA was actually the ASS. feeling squirrelly during this last week of classes, all sorts of questions came immediately to mind. i must learn more.
do you think the political scientists and psychologists made fun of the American Sociological Society, or were social scientists of the day not amused by such childish tommyrot? who would have stepped up strong to defend the ASS and oppose the name change? wouldn't some smart-alec grad student have brought it to our attention sometime before the kennedy era? what form of organizational inertia could possibly account for the strange persistence of such an acronym? wouldn't the fordham university college of kinesiology, for example, have changed its name as soon as the letterhead returned from the printing office?
i hate to give my fellow social scientists any more ammunition, but here are a few possibilities:
- we wouldn't know our [professional association] from a hole in the ground.
- we couldn't give a rat's [professional association] what they thought of us.
- we fell [professional association]-over-tin-cup on the way to the meetings.
- the economists opened a big can of whoop-[professional association] on us.
- we couldn't find our [professional association] with both hands and a mirror.