Interpreting Acronyms & Epithets: Examining the jurisprudential significance (or lack thereof)

Brian Christopher Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Given the rise in short title sophistication and their prominent use as evidence in U.S. v. Windsor, this essay argues that acronym short titles are a relatively unexplored interpretive phenomenon. Examining how acronyms should be approached in jurisprudence, the essay further explains how many titles are designed around a symbolic epithet, thus calling into question the interpretative value of such titles. Additionally, the essay touches on the recent NY and D.C. decisions regarding the NSA’s bulk telephony metadata collection system, and how the USA PATRIOT acronym may have played a symbolic (psycholinguistic) role.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalStanford Law and Policy Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014


  • Acronyms
  • Epithets
  • Interpretation
  • Legislation
  • Psycholinguistis
  • Public laws
  • US Congress
  • Jurisprudence
  • Short titles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


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