Annapolis, Md.: Marc, what is this nonsense about using "PG" to refer to Prince George's Co. is disrespectful? Our local paper, the Annapolis Capitol, uses AA for Anne Arundel Co., QA for Queen Anne Co., KI for Kent Island, but always spells out Prince George's. Doesn't the County Commissioner have better things on which to spend is time?
Marc Fisher: It's always mystified me. This is a real phenomenon--as far back as I can remember here at The Post, we've regularly received calls--often angry ones--from readers who live in Prince George's and, for some reason, deeply resent having the name of their county abbreviated in exactly the same way we might abbreviate the District (DC) or Anne Arundel (AA). They claim that it's a racial matter, a sign of purportedly deliberate disrespect. There's nothing wrong with an abbreviation if it's generally understandable, but for many years, this paper and many other media outlets have been cowed into submission by the allegation of racial prejudice. Seems absurd to me...
From my history in this county, I recall that the campaign to stop the press and others from using "PG" and instead to use "Prince George's Co." started in the late '80s and early '90s. It came from both the white & African American communities. They thought it would heighten the respect for this county. Yes, it was perceived that the number of African Americans in this county was causing this disrespect. There was also a perception that whenever violent crimes were committed that the headlines read that they occurred in this county, whereas when they happened in other counties, the city was named. This impression still exists among many. The reputation of the county in the DC area is still far worse than the county is in actuality.
I've noticed that more leaders and especially the younger generation who are getting involved in politics and civic activism are using "PG". They don't think it's disrespectful and it's what they've always called our county.
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