What’s in a word?

Readers of this blog will be familiar with the travails of universities considering the desirability of a name change. Trinity College Dublin, a little while ago, toyed with the idea of calling itself ‘Trinity College the University of Dublin’ (assuming their business cards could be widened to fit all that in); it later, after a lot of negative feedback, changed its mind. King’s College London toyed with the idea of calling itself ‘King’s London’, another perhaps somewhat daft idea apparently abandoned. And more recently, the University of Akron in Ohio reportedly considered a name change to Ohio Polytechnic Institute; that such a change could be desirable will baffle university people in Britain, but in the United States the term ‘Polytechnic’ has a positive meaning, suggesting in particular an institution close to industry.

But that’s not my point in this post.

The anticipated change has drawn a hostile response from many quarters, in particular alumni and staff. It is the response of one of these academics that has shocked me far more than the name change:

‘Myself and a lot of my colleagues came to this university for a job because it was a full-fledged university, not because it is a polytechnic.’

Really? ‘Myself and a lot of my colleagues’? I am amazed that a senior academic would produce such grammatical nonsense. I know full well that the rules of grammar are increasingly dead, but surely in Akron they can say, without needing a patronising university president like me to prompt them: ‘Many of my colleagues and I came to this university.’

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3 Comments on “What’s in a word?”

  1. Jane Kidd Says:

    The ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ style has now confused utterly those who never really understood the grammar of ‘Mrs Jones and I’, and the former has now taken over completely in the media. Those who have the feeling that it’s probably wrong have resorted to the supposedly all-purpose ‘Myself’. A pity-is it too late to fight back?

  2. Vincent Says:

    Is there a wage&pension drop by changing from a uni to a poly. It could mean they are on a different scale.

    Any new photo’s ?.

  3. James Fryar Says:

    If the person in question is not a native English speaker, would you be so shocked?

    Or did that possibility not occur to anyone?


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