MediaStrike Banner

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What's in a Name?

A few quick name-related bits referencing my alma maters:

The Baltimore Sun ponders the possibility of a name change for UMBC. While they pass through Maryland Tech and Maryland State, as I did, they ultimately thought Maryland University, though in my opinion that's clearly not distinguishable enough from University of Maryland, especially since both would be abbeviated Maryland, and there's no state designation to separate the two like Miami (FL) and Miami (OH). This came after both the Chess Federation and NPR wrote articles declaring "Maryland" the winner of chess' Final Four (both articles have since been updated).

In other news, USF, for their spring game, has decided to go away from the confusion of a green/gold game with teams wearing green and white (or, alternatively, a green/white game when the school colors are green and gold). Instead, they will go by "South Florida" and "Bulls", an interesting development, since USF's style guide states that it prefers USF to South Florida. I guess Coach Holtz, coming from East Carolina, doesn't care quite as much. I've always thought that after the introduction of the new helmets, they could go green and gold, with one team wearing green jerseys and white helmets, while the other wore white jerseys and gold helmets.

2 comments:

Joe said...

As a UMBC alumni, graduate of a tech program, and someone who doesn't follow UMBC sports...

Maryland Tech should be dropped. Granted, the school is most clearly known for the technology programs, but that's really disrespectful to all the other majors. Almost reduces the other majors to just things to attract some diversity to a bunch of geeks at the school. Can you name any other prominent non-tech majors at schools like Virginia Tech or Texas Tech?

So I guess the criteria needs to be a name that includes Maryland, somehow differentiates from University of Maryland...what about Maryland A&T for Maryland Arts and Technical? That'd pay respect to both the tech and liberal arts, keep Maryland in the name, and avoid the dumb confusions between schools like "Oklahoma" and "Oklahoma State".

In a related point, if we change the name, I think it's time our school considered adding a football program. If we had one, I think I'd follow sports a bit more.

Curtis said...

Joe, I think you're right about Maryland Tech, and while I mentioned it, I abandoned that idea almost as soon as I came up with it. I was a psych major and a music minor, and spent most of my time in the all-but-falling-down Fine Arts building, so I know what such a designation would likely do to our liberal, visual, and performing arts and humanities. The only reason I considered it is that there is precedent for "...Tech" schools standing beside the "University of..." schools as a co-flagship, as with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

And that's not to say there's no such precedent for a four letter, branch-campus-sounding institution enjoying that luxury as well. I'm sure UCLA and UNLV don't lose any sleep at night wondering if their names make them subservient to Cal or Nevada. I'll grant that the "County" in our name is a little problematic, as I'm told we're the only non-community college in the country to use the word, but with proper recognition of just the acronym, that becomes a moot point. And it's taken some time, but I think slowly but surely, people are moving beyond the clumsy "Maryland-Baltimore Co." and sticking with UMBC, certainly in academia and increasingly so in sports, especially men's lacrosse where it's already a household name.

So my first preference would be keeping UMBC, warts and all. Still, if a name change were to come, Maryland State is certainly one I could get behind.

discussion by

Labels