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September 18, 2007 | Tate Linden
We've long stated that acronyms are one of the fastest ways to anonymize your company. We were this close to being proved wrong recently.

How did it almost happen? Apparently a town near Seattle (named South Lake Union) wanted to bring public transportation to town in the mode of a trolley. What could possibly go wrong?

I mean, really... the South Lake Union Trolley is completely innocuous, right?

Alas, the South Lake Union Trolley was not to be - even though folks started selling shirts to show their civic pride and publicizing the new service with "Ride the SLUT" emblazoned on 'em. How many other towns would gain a cult following for their public transit systems? Cool, no?

One article did have an interesting quote right at the tail end, though...
With the streetcar, said Don Clifton, a Cascade resident, "We learned how fun it is to change the name of things."
Amen, brother. (Though it'd have been even more fun to leave it!)
5 Comments
Michael September 19, 2007 12:36 AM

Their new acronym for the real name, South Lake Union Streetcar (SLUS) is kinda the same thing according to the Urban Dictionary.....
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=slus

Tate Linden September 19, 2007 11:51 AM

Michael,
I'm never quite sure of what to make of the Urban Dictionary. Half the time it seems people just want to see if they can make up something and have it catch on.
It does, however, remain one of the many tools we use as a backstop when we're validating names.
Nice catch!

Jeffry Pilcher September 19, 2007 5:35 PM

My firm, Weber Marketing Group, is currently in SLU two blocks from the trolley. We will be moving into our own building that is right on a trolley stop.

Nancy Friedman September 21, 2007 2:30 PM

I couldn't help thinking about the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley, which is actually in the neighboring hamlet of Kensington. I suppose even Unitarians aren't liberal enough for *that* acronym.

Denise Wymore September 27, 2007 6:59 AM

I will proudly wear my SLUT t-shirt. I mean Seattle FINALLY has some form of public transportation that does not suck....or, um....well, you know.