Favorite

Goodbye, Old Paint 

I've read that the abbreviation "GOP," short for "Grand Old Party," a nickname of the Republican Party, may be on the way out, some newspapers now banning it. (A fan of GOP says he's heard that newspapers may be on the way out.) GOP has long been beloved of pundits and, especially, headline writers. It fits the available space better than "Republicans" or "Republican Party."

Though GOP's been around a long time, some editors apparently are objecting that many readers don't know what the letters stand for. That's true, but then it's always been true, and most people who read the kind of articles that use "GOP" learn pretty quickly who it refers to. William Safire is supposed to have said that he knew what a DVD was even though he didn't know what the letters stood for.

Part of the problem may be that there's no comparable term for Democrats, although I'm pretty sure I've seen "Dems" in headlines, but that too wouldn't be greatly missed. I never got in the habit of using GOP. I always thought it smacked of journalese; you never heard anybody say GOP on the street. Besides, the Republican Party is not particularly old, as political parties go — the Democratic Party is much older — and I never found it particularly grand, though some of its members were. And it's getting less grand every day. The party of Dwight Eisenhower seems noble by comparison.

Apparently, "Grand Old Party" was first used in the 1880s by Republican-leaning newspapers, which most newspapers were (and are). I looked for some ringing quotation connected to it, something like "Give me the Grand Old Party or I'll kick your butt. — James G. Blaine." But I couldn't find one. Lincoln was the first and last Republican who could say things worth remembering.

"The motto for the Boy Scouts of America is 'Be prepared.' Because of incorrect information from The New York Times, the motto was incorrectly stated in an article Friday about the group's decision to allow gay youths to participate in its activities." It's not "Take it easy"?

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • As the Investigator has moved on to mind-reading--denouncing Lyons for what she imagines he must…

    • on May 25, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • And now the mainstream media is saying it is OK that they leaked the information…

    • on May 25, 2017
  • Re: Not leaders

    • Oh, Ms.Tolbert - You are sick at what is happening NOW. Where was this moral…

    • on May 25, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation