Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Allston-Brighton-Boston College Community Task Force? Huh?

In a recent article and editorial in the Boston College newspaper, The Heights, they referred to the Boston College Task Force as the "Allston-Brighton Task Force."

Hmmmm... "Boston College Task Force" is a proper noun (that is why it is capitalized), so a publication cannot unilaterally change the committee's name. Furthermore, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has formed four different task forces in Allston-Brighton: Harvard Allston Task Force, St. Elizabeth's (Medical Center) Task Force, Boston College Task Force, and the Boston University Task Force (which admittedly only deals with a corner of Allston-Brighton). The newspaper's invented name is vague; a reader might not know which task force is being referred to (although the context makes it clear).

A question posed to the reporter returned the information that they meant to write, "Allston-Brighton-Boston College Community Task Force." Whew. What a mouthful. But it is yet another name invented by the newspaper.

The correct name is the "Boston College Task Force." If BC employees or students don't like using that name because it suggests it is officially affiliated with the university (which it is not), then a reasonable alternative would be the "BRA's Boston College Task Force."

I wrote this suggestion to the reporter who writes for the "Allston-Brighton-Boston-Newton College's The Heights" newspaper, since I'm not a fan of making up names. We'll see what happens.

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