Great debate: Dorm vs. residence hall
I wrote a story for Monday's newspaper about colleges letting faculty members live in the dorms -- er, residence halls.
Lately, university housing officials have been trying their best to kill the word "dorm." Many of them say the word invokes the image of prison-style living and doesn't play up all of the added features of residing on campus.
Auburn University Housing and Residence Life explains it this way on its Web site: "To us, the word dorm means a place to hang your hat and sleep. Is that all you want? We want you to have more!"
Right before school started, I attended a breakfast with fellow higher ed reporters and local college spokespeople. At some point, someone accidentally dropped the d-word -- and was quickly corrected. Then came the pleading from a few: Please, please stop using the hated word "dorm" in stories.
The problem is, everyone still likes calling them dorms. Especially reporters. Residence halls just seems so stuffy and corporate.
Plus, "dorm" is only four characters, while "residence hall" is 14 -- and in the age of Twitter and shrinking space in the newspaper, every character counts. (A good friend of mine with years of RA-ing experience once scolded me for using "dorm" in a tweet. A tweet!)
But maybe I am totally wrong. Which do you prefer?
| September 27, 2010; 11:23 AM ET
Categories: News Overload | Tags: Auburn University
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