Troublesome Abbreviations

A few weeks ago, the NUS LGBT+ Students’ Conference took place.  During the conference, as well as the election of officers, they managed the pass a staggering 35 motions (including amendments, if they count towards the total figure).

One of the motions, number 405, was about Polyamory People.  To describe polyamory, I probably can’t do any better than the NUS notes on the subject:

  1. Polyamory (Polyamorous) describes someone who can have more than one relationship at a time, usually romantic, although not limited to that. There is no limit to the number of relationships a person can have besides what they feel comfortable with.
  2. It is important to remember that polyamory is not related to gender Identity/orientation and a person who is polyamorous can be of any orientation.
  3. Polyamory is not polygamy nor should it be considered cheating. A polyamorous relationship can be built on openness, trust, understanding and cemented rules (The same as monogamous relationships). [sic]
  4. Polyamorous relationships can come in many different forms, different people have different kinds of relationships, with varying levels of attachment and varying numbers of people, however all these relationships have had negative portrayals in the media, not unlike being Bi or Pan as greedy or non- committal.

The conference believed, amongst other things, that polyamorous people were discriminated against and also that “the abbreviation of Poly erases people of Polynesian descent and another alternative be used for Polyamory in official documentation”.

Without wishing to go too far in to polyamory specifically, but the need to label is something that I find curious, especially in this instance.  The insistence that a set of behaviours or characteristics need to be classified under a title can be both a blessing and a curse.

However, that wasn’t the point I wanted to make.  I thought it interesting that an abbreviation needed to be found.  Why did it need to be abbreviated?  It’s not a staggeringly hard word to write or type and it’s not massively tongue twisting to say.  If you don’t want to erase a whole geographic population in favour of those who want as many relationships as they can get, then quite simply don’t abbreviate “polyamory”.

As it happens, the conference did come up with an abbreviation.  It is “Ply”.  I’m trying to work out if that was a fashionable text speak dropping of the vowel or if I’m just missing the reference to laminate.

If you take a life, do you know what you’ll give
Odds are you won’t like what it is
When the storm arrives
Would you be seen with me
By the merciless eyes of deceit
I’ve seen angels fall from blinding heights
But you yourself are nothing so divine
Just next in line
Arm yourself because no one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can’t deny the prize, it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die
The coldness burns through my veins
You know my name
If you come inside
Things will not be the same
When you return to my eyes
And if you think you’ve won
You never saw me change
The game that we have been playing
I’ve seen this diamond cut through harder men
Than you yourself, but if you must pretend
You may meet your end
Arm yourself because no one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can’t deny the prize, it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die
Try to hide your hand
Forget how to feel
(forget how to feel)
Life is gone, with just a spin of the wheel
(Spin of the wheel)
Arm yourself because no one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can’t deny the prize, it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die
You Know My Name by Chris Cornell

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