Following the old rule of thumb: “Y goes before C, except when C stands for something that could be embarrassing,” the YMCA—formerly known as the Young Men’s Christian Association—has decided to lop off the last three letters of its name and will now be known simply as “the Y.”

One of the nation’s most iconic nonprofit organizations, founded 166 years ago in England as the Young Men’s Christian Association, is undergoing a major rebranding, adopting as its name the nickname everyone has used for generations.

“It’s a way of being warmer, more genuine, more welcoming, when you call yourself what everyone else calls you,” said Kate Coleman, the organization’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Read more .


Now this may be a sign that I’m a crank, but I can’t help but suspect that the decision had more to do with distancing the organization from the labels “Men” and “Christian” than being warm and genuine.

Articles by Meghan Duke

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