Conversation-starter: Should news media use GOP?

From FRAN FRIED: This is something that’s been on the back of my mind for a long time — the media’s use of the acronym “GOP” to describe the Republican Party. I know it makes things easier for copy editors like me in an era of narrowed web widths, but simply: Isn’t “Grand Old Party” a form of editorializing? (And “Just because it’s always been done that way” isn’t a legit response …)

Whatever one’s politics, calling an institution “Grand,” regardless of track record, is lending it some sort of credibility it might or might not deserve. And the term was coined when the party wasn’t more than 35 years old — in a Chicago Tribune editorial after the 1888 election.

A nitpick, sure, but one that should at least be visited or pondered. And, for brevity’s sake, “RP” and “DP” are shorter than GOP.

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1 comment
  1. R.G. Ratcliffe said:

    As the nickname has been around for a century, I think it is OK. I mean, would readers understand if a story said a National Socialist death camp guard was found alive in Peru instead of saying a Nazi death camp guard … A copy editor would be better off watching for young reporters who have been convinced by Republicans that the name is the Democrat Party and not the Democratic Party, which is correct, but there has been a concerted effort by the GOP in recent years to get people to drop the “ic” from the end of the party’s name because of what it implies.