P’S OUT, Y’ALL!

Will the newly rechristened “Diddy” spark yet another dubious trend? Radar explores the possibilities.

“As for what brought about the latest change in moniker, the entertainer admitted that his previous name change left his fans uncertain of how to address him. ‘I felt like the P was getting between me and my fans and now we’re closer,’ Diddy said.”—E! Online

Rapper/clothier/Pepsi pitchman Sean “Puffy” Combs, formerly known as P. Diddy, recently announced he was dropping the P from his name. As Diddy explained it, “I started to get confused myself, and when I called someone on the telephone it took me a long time to explain who I was. Too long.” Few before him have had the linguistic stones needed to battle the ominous P, which experts have long considered the most unnecessary letter in the alphabet. In light of Diddy’s heroic—and, let’s face it, desperate—letter amputation, it may be time for some other institutions to take the P out.

Paris Hilton
Paris would become “Aris,” which is a homophone for “heiress.” Such an ironic double-entendre would be consistent with Ms. Hilton’s postmodern philosophical outlook and her self-sacrificing role as a reality TV star. And, without the bulky P, the newly christened Aris would avoid all the confusion she engenders with Paris, the elegant city in France known for its refined style, cultivated sensibility, and artistic temperament.

Dr. Pepper
The association with the popular seasoning has left a bad taste in the mouth of many a consumer, but nobody is going to think “cayenne,” “chili,” or “steak au poivre” when they hear the word “Epper.” In addition, Dr. Epper sounds more Jewish, which will lend it an air of authenticity in the highly coveted advanced medicine demographic.

PBA (Professional Bowlers Association)
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “profession” as “an occupation, such as law, medicine, or engineering, that requires considerable training and specialized study.” Nope, no mention of beer bellies, Lysol, or two-tone shoes. Besides, losing the P would leave the bowler’s association with the name BA, which lends a nice faux-academic luster to an otherwise moronic sport.

Pfizer
The name sounds the same with or without the P, so this should be a no-brainer for the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical (or is it “harmaceutical”?) giant, best known for Viagra. The same logic applies to a number of other medical terms, including pneumonia, psoriasis, and psychedelic hallucinogens. The P may be silent in these cases, but it’s no less of an obstruction, and it’s been the root of many a spelling bee loss.

Pumpkin pie
This great American institution, which often caps off a day of football and tryptophan, is a double violator of the new P-less Diddy rule of names. Like ping-pong, Peter Pan, and pizza party, it offers a two-for-one reduction, becoming “umpkin ie,” which sounds both delicious and less caloric than its fatty predecessor. Of course, we’re not advocating a complete P-ectomy to “umkin ie.” That would just be stupid.

President George W. Bush
The term “President” implies the ability to inspire and lead, or, at the very least, to be democratically elected. Residents, on the other hand, stay in one place for a set duration of time, roll up their Toby Keith posters, spackle over the holes in the walls, and beg for their security deposits. Try the following sentence yourself: “Resident Bush enjoyed a rousing game of horseshoes this afternoon, followed by some light bass fishing.”