As if the English language were not in enough trouble, acronyms are gaining momentum. Their popularity shows no sign of waning, and as a shortcut to communication they appear here to stay. It’s not so much the onslaught of texting shorthand — the ROFLs, LOLs and TTYLs that get on the nerves — these tend to stay in their place. It’s the ones that make it into society, and, no, they’re not just for business or the Army anymore.

Americans not only do not care to memorize what acronyms stand for, some letter combinations are unattractive and unpronounceable. Readers not only read for information, they hear a cadence and rhythm in their heads that if the writer does it correctly, they find pleasing. Acronyms interrupt this and are like a wrong note in this mental march. Consider the following:

POTUS: President of the United States. Better suited to a Lebanese dip, i.e. hummus. No president should begin with pot. Except perhaps for Bill Clinton.

AARP: A cross between a bark and a burp, this stands for American Association of Retired Persons. No one begrudges retired people their due, but RPA would sound so much better. Talk show host Kelly Ripa can testify to this.

MIL: Stands for mother-in-law. This is never going to be attractive no matter what.

PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Not to be confused with bread, as in pita. See POTUS and Lebanese cooking.

VEEP: Vice president or VP. Not technically an acronym, but what happens when people try to pronounce them.

NGO: Nongovernment organization. Nobody likes this one, possibly because it looks and sounds like an African warlord.

IRS: No explanation necessary. See MIL.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

Lawyers induct their own

What do you call a room full of lawyers? A heck of a party. The Lafayette Bar Association held its inaugural Hall of Fame banquet recognizing the worthy among them at The Petroleum Club. “The idea came about because we open court by eulogizing attorneys who’ve passed away,” said Danielle Cromwell. “Wouldn’t it be nice to honor legal legends while they’re alive? We should celebrate the accomplishments while they’re here.” Accepting their accolades were the Honorable Kaliste Saloom Jr., James E. Diaz Sr., Robert McBride, Harmon Roy and Bob Wright, while Frank Neuner and Gary McGoffin also made that walk to the podium to receive President’s Awards, along with Kevin Blanchard for Outstanding Young Lawyer. Outstanding also: LBA President-elect Kyle Gideon, Yvonne Saloom, Ed and Elaine Abel, Jeffrey and Hallie Coreil and handsome Hank Perret.

King Xanadu named

At long last — King Xanadu 2015 George deGravelle was presented to one and all during a royal announcement dinner at the Ramada Conference Center. Surrounded by court ladies, deGravelle held a pre-party party sequestered from members until the final moment but kept company by plenty of others including Sen. Fred and Debbie Mills; Princesses Tammy Sonnier, Shelly Bond, Rebecca Donahue, Susan Doucet, Heidi McDonald, Danielle Keyser and Beth Hebert; Queen Xanadu and real power player Donna Olivier, and, of course, his wife, Debbie deGravelle. Elsewhere, sultry Tina DeRouen, of Total Showoff Productions, decorated the ballroom fit for a king with orchids and crystal while ball captain Maxine Hollier greeted guests flanked by Greek goddesses Monica Lyon and Lissa Adkins. What we loved: That Xanadu has returned to its roots, Lisa Boudreaux served as our lookout and Howard DeRouen hung the ball curtains himself — what a man.