t Double Yellow's Musings: Creativity behind Acronyms - The Making of NTU
The warped mind of Double Yellow craves for humor everyday. His daily dose comes from The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, Today, Channelnewsasia, etc. He also thinks that because of this preamble, this blog will never get featured in the local media. And of course, please read the Disclaimer before embarking on the journey.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Creativity behind Acronyms - The Making of NTU

Singapore is acronym country, we all know that. But if you thought naming acronyms is easy, think again. Here is an example of the creativity and hard work that goes behind the process of coming up with an acronym.

Enlightening Singaporeans on the thinking behind the naming of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), our Senior Minister had this to say....

We wanted to retain the name 'Nanyang' as the institute would rise from the campus of the old Nanyang University. We also wanted the word 'Technology' to reflect the mission of the institute. An obvious name was 'Nanyang Institute of Technology'. It had resonance like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But unlike MIT, a NIT graduate would be regarded as a fool. And when NIT became the 'Nanyang University of Technology', its graduates would be NUTs.

"Then someone suggested 'Technological Institute of Nanyang'. 'TIN' did not sound too bad but 'TUN' for 'Technological University of Nanyang' did not seem right. We did not establish the university to produce 'TUNs'. Besides, in Hokkien, 'TUN' meant dense which brought us back to square one - NIT. After playing with other permutations, we eventually settled for the name 'Nanyang Technological Institute'. It was rather a mouthful but at least nobody could make fun of the acronym 'NTI'.

Who said all those scholarships to Ivy League universities given to our civil servants have gone to waste? :)

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