An earnest attempt by one of America's top public research universities to honour late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia backfired in spectacular fashion this week after word got out that it had inadvertently renamed its law school "ASS Law" (or, if you prefer, "ASSoL.")
Virginia's George Mason University was thrilled to announce on Thursday that it had received a total of $30 million US in gifts to support its law school – the largest combined pledge sum university history.
At the request of one anonymous donor, who contributed $20 million to the funding pool, George Mason agreed to rename its law school after Scalia, who died in February at the age of 79.
"Justice Scalia, who served 30 years on the U.S. Supreme Court, spoke at the dedication of the law school building in 1999 and was a guest lecturer at the university," wrote the school in a press release about the name change. "In recognition of this historic gift, the Board of Visitors has approved the renaming of the school to The Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University."
The page on George Mason's website containing that release was updated, however, on April 7 according to its source code. Instead of "The Antonin Scalia School of Law," the name now reads "the Antonin Scalia Law School."
If you can figure out what the former name's acronym would be, it's easy to see why – or at least it was for people on Twitter after the university's initial announcement.