How would you abbreviate 'Janesville?'

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm going to make one of my fabulously brilliant suggestions to my boss. I do this from time to time. For some reason, the boss doesn't always see how brilliant my ideas are, but he listens.

The idea: We need a good abbreviation for Janesville to use on our website. Consider a headline today: “Free Internet service back on the table.” That doesn't tell me much. It would help if we had enough room to say that the story is about Janesville, and also enough room to say that public, downtown wi-fi is what is being proposed.

So, my first thought, which often is my best thought, is J'ville. My second thought is J-ville. The former is grammatically correct, with the apostrophe taking the place of missing letters. You might think the later has a hip feel to it, but if you read my last blog, you know I don't take kindly to journalists who try too hard to sound cool. Ditto for J-town, which would be cool for the lyrics of a folksy song but not for a newspaper.

I have always loved JanesVegas, but alas, it's too long and too cute.

Jvl? That's how some people refer to the country radio station, WJVL, so that could be confusing.

JNL? We used that, years ago, as the name of our youth page, which, alas, fell on hard times and did not survive. But “JNL” doesn't make me think of Janesville.

We shouldn't take this too far. For example, Evansville could be shortened to E'ville, but you know how that would be pronounced.

Speaking of the 'villes, Orfordville already has an informal abbreviation: Orfy. That's too slangy for a serious newspaper story, in my opinion, although it's fine and fun for informal conversation or a funny article about Orfordville.

But if Orfy works, how about Janey? Nope. That just doesn't feel right.

To be clear, this is all the product of my faulty brain and in no way reflects the thinking of The Gazette's brain trust.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a suggestion for an abbreviation for Janesville?

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