Let’s hear it for the PONTSOs

your say July 17, 2018 01:00

I am concerned about the occasional use in this column (and elsewhere) of the awkward acronym LGBT. We know what it stands for: Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders. If I were a member of any of these groups, I would be unhappy at being designated by such an ugly acronym. 

These people have non-traditional sexual orientations. We know what the traditional sexual orientations used to be. Men would bonk women, women would bonk men. That’s nice and simple, and has defined traditional sexual behaviour since Eve bonked Adam.

But now we are deep in a brave new world of increasing complexity and sophistication where women bonk women, men bonk men, and some bonk both. Still others, the transgenders, do a switcheroo, get themselves physically reconfigured, and proceed to bonk the same gender they used to be members of. 

I leave it to others to make judgements on the propriety of all this. My problem is with the acronym LGBT. You can’t pronounce it; it has no vowels. 

What’s worse, it can easily be confused with a sandwich. We know about BLTs: those are bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Anyone seeing the unsightly acronym LGBT might think it stands for a lettuce, garlic, bacon and tomato sandwich. Somebody might go into a Subway sandwich shop and say, “I’ll have an LGBT, easy on the mustard.” The poor sandwich-maker would be flummoxed. He might say, “Sir, this is a sandwich shop, not a brothel.” Unhappy fellow! Supersensitive social activists would then seize on his careless remark, hound him to suicide as a bigot, and sue the entire Subway franchise for verbal abuse and sexual discrimination. Properly mobilised, such self-righteous wrath, common in our age, might even drive the Subway franchise out of business; and that would be a great loss to our taste buds. 

I propose a new, more pronounceable acronym to designate the sexually diverse community: PONTSO. That stands for Person(s) Of Non-Traditional Sexual Orientation. This is far more euphonious, hence more prestigious, than the ungainly LGBT; and I look forward to its early acceptance by the wordsmiths of the world.

Yours for greater clarity of language,

Ye Olde Pedant