YMCA Is Now Just 'The Y'

Just like the kid in high school who suddenly asked you to stop calling him “Earl” and start calling him “Big E,” the 166-year-old Young Men’s Christian Association no longer wants to be known as YMCA, but simply “The Y.”

“It’s a way of being warmer, more genuine, more welcoming, when you call yourself what everyone else calls you,” says one of The Y’s VPs, who probably isn’t a big Village People fan.

This is just the latest in a string of companies and organizations — KFC, BP, AARP, NPR — to try out the whole brevity thing in an effort either to distance itself from its past or to slap a newer, hipper veneer on themselves.

Of course, while The Y is asking everyone else to forget about the “MCA,” the organization says that local Ys should be referred to by their full names, i.e. the “YMCA of Hatboro, PA.”

So what do you think of YMCA’s rebranding effort?

Y.M.C.A. Is Downsizing to a Single Letter [NY Times]