Silence of THE Universities

When I wrote about the relaunched Times Higher last week, I never imagined we’d be on the cover of the next issue, albeit in butterfly form:


Images like this always remind me of ‘the Silence of the Lambs’, not because of Hannibal Lecter’s considerable academic achievements (he could have written an interesting ‘Don’s Diary’ for the THES two or three relaunches ago), but because of the iconic image from the movie poster:


Leaving aside the inherent creepiness of static lepidoptera, it is interesting that Edge Hill forms part of a subset of institutions chosen to represent the diversity of universities.

Back to the publication itself, barely emerged from its own chrysalis, I’m still not sure what to call it when referring to it out loud. Saying ‘The Times Higher Education Supplement’ always sounded somewhat portentous, like referring to ‘The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Seven’. ‘The Higher’ was sayable, as was ‘the THES’ (rhymes with Tess) or ‘the tee aitch ee ess’. Somehow I can’t imagine asking in the office if anyone’s see the ‘tee aitch ee’, and if I said ‘the THE’ there would be the danger that Chris would hand me a CD.

2 thoughts on “Silence of THE Universities

  1. I remember The The – a group consisting of one guy, Matt Johnson. Odd. Odder still is the rebranding of the THES. Isn’t the cardinal rule of marketing that you never mess with a successful brand? In the target market, they must have 100% recognition of “The Higher” or The THES”. I suspect that most of us will go on calling it by its old name.

  2. The The – a hard band to find on the internet.

    Some brands (and certainly publications) evolve incrementally – the Telegraph, for instance, have made a series of small changes over the years but never had a big relaunch (perhaps fearing that their readership of old colonels in bath chairs would suffer from shock.)

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