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One definition of academy is an institute of higher learning. OK. Fair enough.

An academy can also be an organization dedicated to a single profession that accepts as members only people working in that profession. It likely accredits people in that profession, promotes the profession, recognizes achievements—possibly individual and group achievements—within the profession, or possibly some or all of the preceding. An example of this type of academy is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

This is the Academy that each and every year, year in and year out, does its absolute level-headed best to thoroughly bore the living daylights out of me, but it always fails to do so. I am, of course, talking about the Academy Awards, also commonly known as the Oscars. To be fair to the Academy, I must admit that the only reason it always utterly fails to thoroughly bore the living daylights out of me is that I refuse to watch the show. Ever.

There is at least one other meaning of academy. This type of academy is whatever the hell its founder or owner says it is. It would be nice if it were also recognized as something resembling an academy by someone other than the founder or owner, but even if that’s not the case, he or she will insist on saying it’s an academy nonetheless.

Gaining general acceptance as an academy is easier if the owner makes up an official sounding name and slaps a ™ on the end of it. It’s even better if they go through the legal process required to qualify to put a ® after it, but neither is absolutely necessary to get it recognized by some people as a real academy.

If someone established an Academy of Professional Toilet-Paper Crafters®, I’ll bet there would be a number of people who would say, “It’s about time the world had such an important, respectable academy!”

(If there really is an Academy of Professional Toilet-Paper Crafters®, please accept my apologies for mocking you and please don’t attempt to sue me for appropriating your name in the name of humor. The idea sounded so ludicrous to me that I didn’t think it was worth the few seconds it would take to Google you to see if you exist.)

This brings me to a point that I deferred making when writing my entry on the word academician, which immediately preceded this entry. To refresh your memory if you read it and to accommodate you if you didn’t read it and are way too lazy to do so now, an academician is a teacher or researcher at an institute of higher learning, or a member of an academy—any academy.

If they ever bother to think about it, which they probably don’t, it should royally piss off professors, who likely spent many years, or even a decade or two, of hard study and research to reach even the lowest rung of the professorship ladder, to be lumped in with members of the Academy of Professional Toilet-Paper Crafters®. (Again, no offense to the members of that probably fictional academy, but, really, when you’re being honest with yourself I’m sure you agree with my thinking on this.)

For this reason, if I were a professor I would insist on not being called an academician. There already is a perfectly good term that refers to only people of their academic accomplishments, namely, academics. There’s no need to risk being downgraded in some people’s minds by being labeled an academician.

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