Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Think Tank Naming Fail

A great lesson was hopefully learned by those who are planning to start a think tank: be careful how you name your think tank, because the acronym could be quite embarrassing.

Unfortunately, it is too late for one new think tank.  This week, Pakistan and China announced that they would launch a joint think tank named Research and Development International (RANDI), which is dedicated to research and development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

"Randi" happens to be Hindi slang for prostitute.  It is also a heterograph of the English word "randy," which means sexually excited.

Austin Powers would have loved this name (see video here), but many were dumbfounded by the think tank's acronym.

Indians heavily ridiculed the name.  The Nation says that Twitter giggled at it.  A variety of Twitter comments on the think tank's acronym can be found here.  And here is a comic about the think tank.

One joke report said that the think tank has been renamed to RANDI-RONA.  Yet another jokester said that the think tank has pivoted to become a branding agency.  Other reports indicate that the name has already been changed to RADI.

Some have also point out that Pakistan once had a think tank called the Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies, or PISS.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece on the longest think tank acronym.  Another long think tank acronym that we've covered can be found here.  And here is another Think Tank Watch piece on how the ISIS acronym was hurting a think tank's reputation.