Sunday, 16 November 2014

Alphabet soup

Train spotters like to go out with little books and note down engine numbers; twitchers like to race around to catch sightings of rare and usually half dead birds blown onto our shores; others like to spend their time bog snorkelling.

It takes all sorts, but I have to admit that until last week I had never come across anyone who was interested in the strings of letters which sometimes appear after the names of people who would like us to know that they are Very Important. The technical term for this is apparently "postnominalology".

Anyway, a reader has written in to ask if anyone can shed light on the meaning of some of the acronyms used by the Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council.

The CBE is straightfoward, and Mr James rightfully shares this distinction with a number of other people who have made a major contribution to public life, such as Stephen Hawking. Other famous recipients include Elton John and the artist Grayson Perry, who wore a blue mother of the bride frock when he collected his. Richard Burton and Eric Clapton are in the same league.

No, not an Independent councillor


As far as we know, however, Mr James is the only one of this distinguished group to put CBE after his name when writing to residents of Carmarthenshire to update them on problems with bin collections.

Next comes LL.M., or Master of Laws. Scurrilous sources claim that this degree was awarded by the Open University and have made unflattering comparisons with the Oxbridge degree held by Bryn Parry-Jones, until recently Mr James's neighbour in Pembrokeshire.

That is of course snobbery of the worst kind, and Mr Parry-Jones's untimely departure from office should put an end to this academic one upmanship.

Rather less obvious are DPA and DCA, and it seems that enquiries to Mr James's office have drawn a blank. At a guess, we are talking about diplomas in public administration and chartered accountancy.

Answers please to the comments section below.

Bear in mind that this is a family blog, and that four-letter words beginning with D, P, C and A will not be published.


18 comments:

Anonymous said...

DPA - data protection act. Allows the holder to determine what information is recorded and released to the public.

DCA - data centre allowance. Related to the DPA its a body that determines the rules governing the DPA.

Re the ILM, was this the micky mouse degree conferred by Trinity University for, er simply being mark james.?

Anonymous said...

There are hundreds of meanings for these acronyms such as Diploma Catering Assistant or even Democratic Party of Albania

Anonymous said...

It simply confirms the arrogance and egoism already displayed over the last years of his reign in Carmarthenshire.
Wherever he goes and whatever he does, until the end of his life this is how he will be.gf

MuppetMan said...

Dictator Certification (Advanced) ???

caebrwyn said...

Diploma in Creative Accountancy to go with his Diploma in Pension Administration...

Jac o' the North, said...

Reminiscent of the case of David Phillips, former leader of Swansea council. He always used AIIT and MinstD after his name . . . until someone submitted an FoI asking what these letters stood for and whether Phillips was entitled to use them. The postnominals were quickly dropped and never seen again.

John Lewis said...

Diplomai in Public Administration (DPA)
Diploma in Consumer Affairs (DCA)

Can anybody shed any light on why Mr James never went on to University after "O" and "A" levels ?

Anonymous said...

Diploma in Public Administration (DPA)

Diploma in Consumer Affairs (DCA)

Can anybody shed any light as to why Mr James did not go to University at 18 ?

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why it is important that Mr James didnt go to University at 18?
I work for the LA , left school at sixteen with a handful of exam passes and not much else! However, i worked hard , got professional qualifications , a degree , followed by a Masters. What the hell does it matter?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 18 Nov 00:34 - if it doesn't matter, why did you bother with your post-school education?

Anonymous said...

Anon 18 Nov 12.15

The arguement , or lack of it, that you put forward is fundamentally weak.

I bothered as i wanted to progress my learning, personal development and career opportunities.
Lets suppose that at 18 yrs of age I was an unpaid carer for a relative, or even a young parent. Do you not think that I or maybe Mr James had more important priorities at that time?
The important fact to consider ( and admire) is that further study, development , career enhancement , call it what you may, actually took place!!
Your arguement is shallow and weak!

Anonymous said...

It is pretty obvious that it was not English that you studied during school or afterwards - argument is the correct spelling of the word and there is no need for the parenthesis around the "and admire".
If either you or Mr James were carers or young parents at school both of you are to be commended but if not, let's be honest you didnt work very hard at school.

Anonymous said...

dont think the argument is about whether the dickhead attended university or not, its about having a hyper-inflated ego and using titles after your name - i have a BA (Hons) and two Dips but i don't bloody use them. I agree with you going to university can be a complete waste of time and money especially nowadays with micky mouse courses... ie Mark James MM

Anonymous said...

"I have a BA(Hons) and two Dips but I dont bloody use them" you just have

Anonymous said...

Anon 13.38
You really are clutching at straws now!
Off with my head that I did not notice a typo. How will the world cope!
BTW , parenthesis is as follows " ........ "
I think what you are referring to are commonly called brackets!
Get a life!

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you, Anon 23.21, but brackets are parenthesis. What you are calling parenthesis is actually an example of speech marks, quotation marks or inverted commas.

Anon 13.38, your syntax is far from perfect so stop squabbling you two!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 13:53
No need to include "you two"
stop squabbling would suffice.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should start using my ALCM after my name if they are all doing it!