Remember that $16 million YMCA that opened in Park Slope this past winter? Well, it would like to be called "the Y" now, thank you very much. The 166-year-old institution is re-branding, and it's taking a cue from its biggest fans: “It’s a way of being warmer, more genuine, more welcoming, when you call yourself what everyone else calls you,” said Kate Coleman, the organization’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Yeah, unless what everyone is calling you is "Prince of Darkness" or "Numbnuts".

The Times examines the larger trend of companies and charities adopting shorter acronyms and abbreviations; National Public Radio even sent out a note to staff to refer to it as NPR from now on. “In many ways, we are just catching up to our audience,” said Dana David Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president for marketing and communications. Re-branding is no new concept, but with the advent of Twitter, Facebook and iPhones, many more companies are now jumping on the bandwagon. Kentucky Fried Chicken is now the KFC Corporation legally, British Petroleum is BP, and the American Association of Retired Persons is the AARP now.

As for the Village People, who will be forever linked with the YMCA, they aren't tweaking anything about their hugely famous song, and will continue to perform all four letters in concert: "We are deeply dismayed by today's announcement from the Y.M.C.A... Some things remain iconic and while we admire the organization for the work they do, we still can't help but wonder Y."