The GPS system suffers from Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome, like Jeb Bush. / alex lines
The Baffler,  June 15, 2015

Daily Bafflements

The GPS system suffers from Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome, like Jeb Bush. / alex lines


• Yesterday, pundits commented that Jeb Bush’s new logo (“Jeb!”) downplays his dynastic Bushiness. Maybe so. But with this move, Jeb, whose name is an acronym of “John Ellis Bush,” is also divesting himself of his name’s RAS Syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome), a linguistic mistake whereby, in Bill Bryson’s words, Bush’s surname has become “technically redundant because the second word is already contained in the preceding abbreviation.” This put the pre-logo Jeb in the same camp as the Global Positioning System System, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Virus, Detective Comics Comics, and the Personal Identification Number Number. But Bryson believes that RAS Syndrome bothers “only the ultra-finicky,” and it’s hard to characterise Jeb, whose record of errors was recently documented by Baffler senior editor Chris Lehmann, as such.

• Today in Billionaires: sorting out the problems of the billionaire owners of media corporations is now a beat: “The deal could be structured so that the Ochs-Sulzberger family would not only become much richer,” writes reporter Felix Salmon in Fusion, “but could also credibly claim that they continued to own the New York Times.” Everyone is happy.

• “Raised by helicopter parents, millennials just can’t shake the habit of listening to advice,” worries the Boston Globe. Yet, a little counterintuitively, the article offers some advice of its own: “Ignore the experts.” Any millennial able to take home a lesson from these sphynxish conundrums is doing just fine.

• Today in Billionaires II: “Even at a quiet table overlooking a wisteria-clad patio, his menace is sometimes barely concealed.” (Via the FT Weekend.)

You Might Also Enjoy

The Meme Hustler

Evgeny Morozov

While the brightest minds of Silicon Valley are “disrupting” whatever industry is too crippled to fend off their advances, something. . .


Round-up of Recriminations

Corey Pein

Recriminations will abound in the days to come. The finger-pointing won’t stop for months, years, maybe decades. After all, it’s not every day global empires collapse from within, tweet by inexorable tweet. Given the scale of the disaster, we should expect the arguments to be spiteful and counterproductive. It cannot be any other way, for some people are in fact responsible for this historic debacle, and those people will try to shift the blame to others less deserving.

word factory

Roger, Over and Out

Chris Lehmann

It’s certainly not in character for the corporate chieftains at Fox News to keep mum during the marquee action at a Republican Nation. . .

word factory

Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

 April 17

Or, put it this way: Paul Ryan went out onto the tightrope. The crowd, so long adoring their golden child, cheered. But a jester got the best of Ryan.