imagesBook Bub’s list of the day consists of book recommendations from POTUS.

POTUS and SCOTUS are among my favorite acronyms. They roll so satisfyingly off the tongue. I part company with those who insist on drawing a distinction between acronym and initialism. The distinction, while it clearly can be said to exist, doesn’t carry any useful meaning as far as I’m concerned. I guess those who insist on the distinction, are focussing on the presence of “word” in many definitions. But does a word have to be pronounceable? Maybe it does.

Not messing about, The Oxford English Dictionary gives both definitions under “acronym”. Their first definition, the initialism one, they note as being primarily American. One of their examples of the pronounceable variety of acronym is Tea Party in its political sense. I had always imagined this title was a reference to “The Boston Tea Party”, but the OED listing of examples includes what Today I Found Out would have us regard as a “backronym” — “Turning tea into an acronym for Taxed Enough Already, demonstrators were expected to attend more than 750 rallies to protest government spending.”

The President has not been shy of recommending books to his fellow Americans. For summer reading this year he suggested All That Is by James Salter, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (inevitably) and Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. These he hoped to read on his 16-day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. Not bad going if he managed it. He recently had a thorough-going discussion of books with Marilynne Robinson in The New York Review of Books. Part 1 was in the 5 November issue and Part 2 in the 19 November issue. The guy reads.

24 October 2016: Here’s another list of President Obama’s recommended reading, this one from Wired.

 

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