Vice Versa

One of the things that strikes me as odd about my current school is the perfect ease with which it tolerates being identified as either the University of Glasgow or Glasgow University. There are both sorts of signs around the campus. Campus acronyms frequently have recourse to GU; the official functions and statements typically go out as the University of Glasgow. But both names function, and I’ve heard no concern that one of them should predominate over the other.

5 thoughts on “Vice Versa

  1. I’ve occasionally seen that done with names of American universities in UK news media: “…a professor of law at Michigan University in Ann Arbor.” Sorry! 🙂

    (And I saw someone in a British drama on telly the other night say “Excuse me” in the way we Americans use the phrase, and there was no hint of irony. I think it’s understood the same way we understand it, in some places. London, perhaps? Although I must say I do switch to “Sorry!” when I’m there, just to make sure I blend in.)

  2. Scott, I haven’t heard a UK announcer do that yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me. And now, the urgent question: did the character who said “Excuse me” sound stroppy?
    Interesting, Johanna. I’m intrigued, since so much about corporate identity tends to place a premium of having (and guarding) a unique, distinctive name/brand. Sounds as though GU/U of G and OU/U of O aren’t that worried.
    Mom, I’m no longer a Professor (in the UK, there’s usually just one Professor per group of faculty); here, I’m a Lecturer (roughly comparable to an Assistant Professor in the US. The Biblical Studies professor at Glasgow just retired, so it wouldn’t be surprising if we had a promotion, but that would go to one of my higher-ranking colleagues.
    So if one wanted to call me something respectful, “Dr. Adam” would be it — students who don’t yet know what else to call me use “Dr. Adam.”

  3. I think the reason that there is less concern here about GU vs. U of G is that there is no chance of a mixup with another university. To my knowledge, across the UK there aren’t any instances of U of X and XU being different institutions. So Glasgow is Glasgow is Glasgow, wherever you afix the University bit.

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