I was listening to VPR, Vermont Public radio, today when they announced that their new name was …. Vermont Public.
Vermont Public what? Well, they’ve merged TV and radio. “Vermont Public probably strikes you as both familiar, and different – and that’s the idea. Our name has evolved to reflect who we are, and where we’re going. We’re still everything you count on – and we can do more together, and welcome more people into the fold,” says their announcement.
It strikes me as kinda stupid sounding. No mention of the main thing they do… media broadcasts and streams over radio, TV, cable and internet. No mention of news or information. It doesn’t say anything about who they are or where they are going. It seems more like the forgot to finish the naming process.
How did this naming session go? Someone must have said we could it Vermont Public Radio and Television. Then someone mentioned the internet and podcasts. Then they realized they can’t just list everything. Instead of coming up with a word that encompasses everything they do, they just left it at Vermont Public. And that means confusion.
“Hey, call Vermont Public!”
VT Public Utilities?
Vermont Public Health?
Ahh, Vermont Public Interest Research Group.
You mean the VT Public Transportation Association?
“No! Vermont Public!”
VT Public Housing Agency? Public Works? Public Service Board?
Part of the problem is that it comes across as a noun, not an adjective. If they had reversed it and called themselves Public Vermont, it would make more sense, using the adjectival definition of “of or concerning the people as a whole: public concern/public affairs.”
Using it as noun changes the definition to the “people in general,” and not necessarily what is concerning them.
It also sounds like it is missing that third word. “You are listening to/watching Vermont Public” just sounds weird, and a bit controlling.
Imagine “National Public Radio” changing their name to “National Public.” A bit arrogant, eh?
It’s not a big deal, but I think this rebranding is stupid. I’ll continue to call it Vermont Public Radio.