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Forget who Almost Mayor Vince(nt) Gray is going to appoint (or is it keep?) as schools chancellor. Forget what he’ll do with the city-owned mayoral Smart Car. Forget how he’ll handle the crushing expectations of the unions while trying to deal with a seriously cash-strapped city that’s already spent much of its reserves.
The big question you ought to be asking is: Will he go by Vincent or Vince?
His campaign materials use “Vince,” because, well, that’s what he goes by. While it’s fine for a candidate who says he hates being called deliberative more than anything else in the world to use the informal version of his name, will that slacker attitude cut it when Gray is mayor and has to start acting like he’s in charge? After all, Gray’s D.C. Council page calls him Vincent C., not Vince.
And what’s he going to use when he starts slapping his name all over new buildings and other construction projects? Can we really have confidence in a building named the “Vince Gray Deliberative Center?”
More importantly, what about the media? Should we all follow the lead of the Washington Post and refer to him as “Vincent C. Gray,” even if no one else does? Hell, the paper of record itself can’t seem to make up its mind. A quick Nexis search shows the Post lets its columnists get away with calling him Vince. But you’ll only find “Vince” in a news story when it’s used in a direct quote by Arne Duncan, Ron Moten or Gray himself. (“Do you know who Vince Gray is?” Postie Marc Fisher chronicled the almost mayor asking a woman during a stroll through Eastern Market.)
And what to make of this piece of schizophrenia from Mark Plotkin‘s diatribe last week against President Obama? Headline: “Obama: Why haven’t you called Vincent Gray?” Lede: “All President Obama has to do is pick up the phone. So why hasn’t he called the next mayor of Washington, D.C.—Vince Gray?”
Of course, neither LL nor City Paper has been much better, but that’s how this whole mess of a post got started. LL’s editors are trying to put to bed this week’s paper and asked LL whether he’d had a chance yet to ask Gray directly yet how he’d prefer to see his name in print.
Which we have not. So until we hear from Gray, we figured we’d let you weigh in, beloved readers. How should we refer to our city’s all-but-certain next mayor? Leave your thoughts below in the comments—and expect us to completely ignore your wishes if Gray gets back to us.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery