of the American Society for Information Science and Technology       Vol. 27, No. 3       February/March 2001


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      Some Opinions from Our Members Who Incline to Verse

      Some Notions of Possible Efficacy To Help in Digesting Our ASIS with T:

      by Ben-Ami Lipetz

          Our group has seen so many years,
          Approaching sixty-five,
          Endeavoring unceasingly
          To last, inspire, to thrive.
          And we have found recurring need
          When seeking pride and fame
          A quintessential need indeed
          We have to change our name!

          An early change none can refute
          Corrected impropriety
          As we gave "Institute" the boot
          And we embraced "Society."

          A change of more moment brought joy to our eyes,
          Although taken with much trepidation:
          We threw out that word we had come to despise
          And banished "Documentation."
          That word, we agreed, simply failed to convey
          A clear meaning to any hearer.
          And so, to replace it, today all can say
          "Information Science" well that's so much clearer!

          Fast forward. Through years of our happy confusion
          Things changed but remained the same
          'Til, on sober refection, we reached the conclusion
          We had to revise our name.
          But this time we wisely eschewed explanation
          Of who or what are we.
          We reasoned: "Whatever it is that we do, or whatever
           it is that we produce, we will be more than happy
           to give you our professional assistance with its
                further development and commercial application."
          (And we tacked on "Technology.")
          Good doggerel needs a good moral I'm told,
          Yet this nominal history
          Alas, prompts no moral but let me be bold
          It shrieks "Opportunity!"
          Our work is unfinished. Why, it's hardly begun.
          Let us once again alter our name!
          For, through all our changing and having our fun,
          One word has remained the same:
          That first word, "American" (national pride)
          Isn't it just a wee bit irrational?
          Perhaps we should quietly set it aside
          Since, in fact, we are now international.


The poet and author Ben-Ami Lipetz can be reached via e-mail at balipetz@cnsvax.albany.edu

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