Overcoming SCOTUS Disease

Posted: May 10, 2010 in Media Frenzy

John Jay just rolled over in his grave.   Surely the venerable first Chief Justice is looking down on us from a heavenly abode.  He doesn’t recognize what he sees, and we are not talking about the ideological landscape of today’s high court.    That Barack Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the Court as the potential fourth ever woman might be somewhat surprising to Jay.   Afterall, in his day Kagan could have only risen to the level of America’s needle point sweetheart, a la the flag making Betsy Ross.     

John Jay in a Kodak moment. While Sandra Day O'Connor may have broken the gender barrier on the Court, it was John Jay who broke the man with two first names barrier.

But no, the real source of wonderment for Jay about today’s Supreme Court would undoubtedly be “What the hell is a SCOTUS?” 

Now maybe Jay can’t be bothered or worried about things from his afterlife perch.  Perhaps he plays croquet in heaven on alternating afternoons with his Federalist Papers cronies Hamilton and Madison – highly contested games where he often gets razed by Madison for his woeful lopsided Jay Treaty with Britain in 1794. 

“Thanks a lot for that one, Johnny,” fires the salty Madison at Jay right as he is about to mallet the croquet ball towards the target.   “Luckily for you, I bailed your ass out in the War of 1812 or we would still be subjects of the Queen.” 

Maybe Jay is not in heaven at all.  Let’s not discount, however, that where ever he is he still has access to a WiFi connection and is able to get some good old-fashioned New Media piped in.      He can’t be happy that his Supreme Court has been replaced in every third headline with a case of SCOTUS, an acronymic affliction that is ravaging internet news feeds.     If you didn’t know it SCOTUS is the abbreviation for Supreme Court of the United States.    Get it, SCOTUS.    Headline writers far and wide have taken to renaming the Supreme Court SCOTUS because they are lazy, and it has to stop.  It’s not like we are talking about the old media where there was at least the cost of ink at play.    The internet media has no fear of running out of web space, so why not spell it out.  

This latest governmental acronym is just the latest threat to our way of life.   In fact acronyms as a whole have our society on the brink of communication ruin.    Try working in IT or Government or Healthcare on any other profession that has not been overrun with abbreviations and short-cuts.   It’s a HTTP/SQL/DoD/PAC/PDA/LCD world that we live in.   It’s too much to say can you get me the report as soon as possible.   Now it has to be ASAP, or by EOD.   

Elena Kagan in happier times before she found out she was infected with an unsightly case of SCOTUS.

And you – casual social web user – are not helping when you type LOL or LMAO on every third Facebook thread you comment on.     What you are really saying is that I’m too lazy too say, “Wow that was very funny, that makes me laugh.”     

For their part, acronyms themselves are under pressure from one button emoticons such as smiley, frowny and random wink at me faces saving users of LOL two extra key strokes – three if they needed the exclamation point.    That’s no way to communicate.   

And now to that abbreviation heap we add SCOTUS.   May John Jay RIP.

SCOTUS on the loose in today's headlines

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