I'm on vacation this week, and didn't plan to do anything on the blogs unless something really pressing came up.
Something really pressing came up. It borders on scandalous.
By now, you've probably heard that a certain university successfully trademarked the word "The." How this happens, I have no idea; I'm not a lawyer (and that sound you hear is all the lawyers saying, "no kidding.") But it happened.
And that's not the really pressing thing, nor is it the scandalous thing. But follow along.
The news bothered me and others on Twitter, so I felt compelled to take a look at university names, specifically the first word of their names, using official designations in IPEDS. I broke this into three categories: Those whose names started with "The," those whose names started with "University," and those whose names started with "College," plus the category of "Other."
My thinking was that there are already many colleges, with substantial enrollment, who already use the word "The" at the beginning of their name who could have and should have protested this; there are also many who start out with "University" who might be tempted in casual conversation to throw a "The" at the start and are now afraid of being sued; the same for any place called "College."
As you will see, most college and university enrollment (total graduate and undergraduate) falls into the "Other" category; this includes enrollment at places like Kansas State University (begins with "Kansas") or the four that start with "Loyola" or the twelve that start with "Concordia."
Then comes "University," followed by "The" followed by "College."
You can explore on these three charts below, using the filters if you wish.
Guess which university you won't find on the "The" list?
Anyway, I'm on vacation.