By Victoria Cameron
Most students are familiar with being asked to refer to the Thom Leadership Education Center by the donor’s name, Thom, instead of the popular acronym “TLEC.” Similarly, students are often told to pronounce Janzow with a pure “o” at the end instead of the diphthong “ow” because that is how the donor’s name is pronounced. Oh, and J-Top should be referred to as Janzow Top.
Students usually guess that they’re asked to change their habits out of respect for donors, and those doing the asking usually confirm this. This raises a question that is all too relevant with the opening of the Dunklau Center for Science, Math and Business: do the donors really care on a relational and monetary level if the edifices named after them are spoken of casually?
Can students refer to Dunklau as the Dunk Tank, or will that seriously offend current and potential donors to the point that they are unwilling to ever give money? That seems a little ridiculous. If a person loves Concordia enough to provide a building in the first place, they most likely will be content and even flattered with students giving said building a nickname.
Pronouncing proper names correctly, though? That is one for the students to work on. No one likes having their name mispronounced. A nickname is one thing; refusal to correct ignorance and treat others with basic decency is another. Basic understanding of this concept will serve students well wherever they end up.