The following editorial was written by John F. Dunn and published on November 8, 2019 in Mekeel's & Stamps Magazine (Volume 215, No. 21). Subscribe to Mekeel's & Stamps Magazine here. Republished with permission.
Hopefully, the comments that follow will be taken in the positive spirit in which they are intended.
The other day the American Philatelic Society announced that the new name for their annual event will be the Great American Stamp Show. Personally, I thought StampShow worked just fine, but after soliciting suggestions and narrowing down the field to these five:
Great American Stamp Show
The membership voted for Great American Stamp Show.
I guess the editor in me turned quickly to the acronym that would be used instead of the lengthy full name by media types in a world where acronyms are now used for just about nay lengthy name. USPS is an easy one, but "OPEC" is so standard that many people might not even know that it stands for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; and there are all sorts of political acronyms, some that fit and others that are contrived to create a catchy word/acronym.
I was not the first to think that a name that resulted in the acronym GASS is not the best of choices. I heard from others, and did have some humorous thoughts of my own, but overnight I gave some thought to how we can use it to draw positive attention.
Pictured left, for example, is the 1983 Balloons block of four, Sc. 2032-35. There are hundreds of attractive worldwide stamps also featuring balloons and the history of ballooning. Also postal history, including the French Ballon Monte covers.
So, in advance of the first Great American Stamp Show to be held in Hartford, Conn. next year, let's use the tag line, "GASS is coming to Hartford."
Nowadays you have to be outrageous to garner media coverage. "GASS" is bound to draw attention - at which point we will be able to turn it to the appeal of stamps of any and all topics as well as of a healthy hobby. Follow that up with an invitation to "Enjoy GASS..." and we might even go viral.