LTE: Douglas Friant on “Vermont Public”… what?

Dear Editor,


Bring back VPR – The new name “Vermont Public” has fallen flat with listeners, who question, “Vermont Public What?” The explanation from Vermont Public, presented in a flashy information piece is that “Public” is a noun and the subject is “you” meaning all of us. Now, the last time I diagramed a sentence was in middle school, some 48 years ago, but I am pretty sure that my English teacher would have a problem with “noun noun” forming a complete sentence, or even forming a title for that matter.

I am dismayed that Vermont Public’s response to its lousy new name is to say it once every minute or two during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. I have been tuning my radio to 89.5 for forty years now. I know 89.5 is Vermont Public Radio, or used to be. I don’t need to hear that each spoken sentence on 89.5 has been brought to me by Vermont Public. It is kind of like encouraging people to keep sniffing a corpse flower, because after enough sniffs, it will stop smelling like a corpse and start smelling like dirty old socks. Vermont Public still stinks to me, no matter how many times I hear it. I have actually started to listen to other stations on the radio just to avoid hearing “Vermont Public, Vermont Public, Vermont Public” thirty times an hour. The other stations are really quite good and there is a plethora of them on Sirius XM.

I suppose that if Vermont Public can’t give up its new name, it could do what Meta (another ridiculous name) did, keeping the Facebook and Instagram brand names under the umbrella of Meta. That way we, the listeners and watchers, could keep VPR and Vermont Public Television, and the big suits at Vermont Public could keep their new baby – Vermont Public…what?



Douglas Friant

South Londonderry, Vt.


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