Prompted by the NCAA's recent decision to prohibit sports teams with nicknames and mascots that are deemed "hostile and abusive" from using that imagery in post season tournaments, and forbidding those teams from hosting postseason tournament games, a collective of Tablet PC users today filed a petition to the NCAA to force similar sanctions on the Southern New Hampshire University Penmen.
A number of leaders in the still small, but growing, Tablet PC community took a break today from installing the beta of Windows Vista on their Tablet PCs and inked their strong feelings about this issue in a shared OneNote session, a Skype conference, and later a broadcast on MSNBC.
According to Spencer Goad, founder and owner of Tablet PC Buzz, "there are enough problems with the platform gaining acceptance given the poor marketing efforts by OEM's. Those of us who know and love Tablet PCs and recognize the potential this technology has to truly change personal computing do not want to see any future hindrance caused by the very visible association with the nickname Penmen, when it so obviously refers to ancient technology."
Tablet PC MVP Rob Bushway offered, "While the nickname Penman may not be deemed hostile or abusive to any particular ethnic group, we do find the label to be particularly abusive to those who suffer from bad penmanship. It reflects on a past age when pens meant writing with a pen and paper and good penmanship was a prized attribute. With the new handwriting recognition, one no longer needs to feel the societal stigma brought about by bad penmanship."
Renowned blogger and podcaster, James Kendrick, also a Tablet PC MVP, stated, "As someone with notoriously bad handwriting, I concur with Rob. Look, the Tablet PC is a winning technology. SNHU has never won anything, not even a penmanship award. To associate themselves, even peripherally, with Tablet PCs by using this nickname demeans the entire platform and it's development community. What's next? The Podcasters? Let's hear a podcast first. Show me the ink."
Another Tablet PC MVP, WNewquay, speaking about nicknames stated, "Many of us refer to ourselves in forums and on blog posts as Tableteers. That's sexy. It evokes a sense of Dumas-like adventure. I don't think there would be this objection if the name would be changed to reflect those attributes. Perhaps the Fighting Styli."
First Lady of the First Family of Tablet PCs, Lora Heiny, speaking on behalf of the entire First Family stated, "perhaps if the entire university adopted the Tablet PC in its instructional methodology this would be a different issue. Give a Tablet PC to each student and faculty member, or institue a Tablet PC development curriculum and then maybe, maybe, they could lay claim to a nickname like the Penmen, although the Fighting Styli does have a neat ring to it."