A recent article in MusicalAmerica.com by Susan Elliott reports that the American Symphony Orchestra League has had enough with being the butt end of jokes about their organization’s acronym, ASOL*…
And LAmO is better?
The timing couldn’t have worked against them any worse as Michael Moore’s new movie, Sicko, which opened to critical acclaim and strong box office sales on Friday, June 29th.
Due to the popularity and subsequent media attention, surrounding Moore’s movie my mind immediately interpreted the LAO acronym as LAmO, which the Urban Dictionary defines as “someone possessing the quality of lameness” or “an idiot who doesn’t think straight.” Given that this business is populated heavily by those who are, shall we say, of the liberal persuasion, it shouldn’t be surprising if a number of them are open to the same sort of suggestion, all of which will lead them to interpret the League of American Orchestras’ new acronym as LAmO.
Another unfortunate shortcoming of the name is associated with the opening phrase “League of”. It reminds me of that awful movie The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, the smashing box office failure starring Sean Connery, or worse yet, another monumental historical failure, the League of Nations.
Then there’s the issue Susan Elliott mentioned in her Musical America article (registration may be required) about the League of American Orchestras’ new acronym being suspiciously similar to an existing performing arts organization, The Los Angeles Opera:
Among the criteria for the new moniker – achieved with the help of a branding consultant — was that it “avoid confusion with similarly-named orchestras.” Organizers apparently felt secure that the Los Angeles Opera orchestra would never be among the ranks of its 1,000 members.
Given Susan’s observant point and those mentioned above, it would be prudent if the League of American Orchestras offered their members and the general public some additional details on the process they followed to arrive at the new name.
Finally, even though the Musical America article reports that the League of American Orchestras plans to roll out a new website in the fall the organization must not be concerned with the fact that the domain names lao.com, lao.org, and lao.net have all been registered by other parties for more than a year. As such, it will be interesting to see how much emphasis the organization places on the new acronym as doing so may inadvertently direct interested parties to websites owned by entities other than the League of American Orchestras.
In the end, LAmO may be slightly less uncouth compared to ASshOLe but it continues to project a less than desirable image. Whether or not “The League” will fully extricate itself from the quagmire of being associated with unfortunate acronyms is suspect. Nevertheless, the name change will incur real costs in the here-and-now and whether or not those costs will result in money well spent for the benefit of the organization’s members or simply good money following bad solely for the benefit of the organization is something only time will tell.
*Just in case you haven’t wrapped your mind around it yet: ASshOLe