So, I recently became the chair of NACADA’s (the National Academic Advising Association) Commission on Undeclared/Exploratory Student Advising (CUES). I was down in Orlando at our annual conference (and man, was it a bitchin event this year!) engaging in all sorts of on-line and off-line social networking, professional development, and general merry-making when an interesting turn of phrase occurred.
Rather than utter “the Commission for Undeclared/Exploratory Student advising” every time I talk about Commission stuff, I’ve taken to using the acronym CUES, as though talking about pool cues. In the course of conversation, however, a non-CUES colleague turned to a third with an inquisitive look on her face as if to say “what the hell does he mean? cues?” The third colleague said “Qs, as in “Q” for “questions” — questions from the undeclared/exploratory population.” This clearly wasn’t the way I was processing use of the acronym, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well this alternative perspective serendipitously fit and gave me another level on which to appreciate the work we do in advising undeclared and exploratory students.
So, “cues” or “Qs” really makes no difference in the end…isn’t language a fascinating thing?