(The St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"Playing anagrams with alphabet soup"- to use Al Smith's phrase describing
the host of governmental agencies customarily referred to by initials only-
is no innovation thrust upon the world by the Brain Trust's cerebrations, as
some critics have implied. The New Deal has its NRA, CWA, TVA, HOLC, FDIC, NLAB
and many others, but government by initials is a commonplace in history, through
the omission of periods may be something of an innovation.
Every citizen of ancient Rome, a writer in the New York Sun reminds, knew that
S. P. Q. R. (Senatus Populusque Romanus) was the symbol of his country, until
its rulers began signing themselves C. I. (Caesar Imperator), The British Empire
(B. E.) is ruled by H. M, the King, whose heir is H. R. H., the Prince of Wales.
Our own country is the U. S. A., ruled by the G. O. P. under whom T. R. came
to the White House, now occupied by F. D. R. Our history has been enlivened
by the X. Y. Z. affair, and disturbances by the A. P. A. I. W. W. and K. K.
K., and we have on occasion conferred with the A. B. C. Powers (Argentine, Brazil
and Chile). The U. S. N. defends our coasts, the I. C. C. fixes R. R. rates,
the P. O. D. carries the U. S. M. to the R. F. D. on trains labeled M.-K.-T.,
S. L. & S. F. etc. We pay some of our bills C. O. D., but few of them P. D.
So we have been, it seems, for a long time on a diet of alphabet soup.