Bad name: Sylfest Lomheim is a former director at the Language Council of Norway, and doesn’t think that the new name is especially good. He would prefer something else. «The University of Agder has a historical name, as old as the one in Oslo. I think Norwegians would like that,» he said. Archive photo

OsloMet controversy: «It’s remarkable that Curt Rice doesn’t know English»

Oslo Metropolitan University has released a guide for how to use the name correctly. But actually, «It’s a guide for how to spell it wrong,» says linguist Sylfest Lomheim.

Publisert Sist oppdatert

You might have wondered how long the dash in OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University should be, and how to make that dash. The newest university in Oslo has now launched its own guide of how to use the name properly. The manual explains that CTRL + minus will give you the right dash, but if that doesn’t work, you can try alt + 0150.

«The document will show how to write the name correctly. But actually, it’s a guide to write the name wrong,» Sylfest Lomheim, a linguist at the University of Agder and former director of the Language Council of Norway, said.

It’s remarkable that Curt Rice, who is from America, doesn’t know English.

Sylfest Lomheim

The linguist says the name «OsloMet» actually conflicts with governmental orthography, which governmental institutions such as Oslo Metropolitan University must follow. In the Norwegian language, you should only capitalize the first letter in words and names.

«Nobody understands the name, nationally or internationally. OsloMet is not a word,» Lomheim said and added, «It’s remarkable that Curt Rice, who is from America, doesn’t know English.»

Elite audience

Lomheim’s strong words garnered a reaction from Curt Rice, rector of Oslo Metropolitan Unviersity.

«This is what Norwegians call ‘take the man, not the ball’ and it’s a nice strategy to use when you have run out of objective arguments,» Curt Rice answered in an e-mail.

Rice believes OsloMet, or Oslo Metropolitan University, can tell the public about the university’s location and goals. It’s also different enough from the University of Oslo to avoid confusion. Early on Friday he held a lecture for the Nobel Committee in Stockholm, where the school was congratulated on its new name and university status.

«They didn’t have any problem understanding the name, but they, of course, are an elite audience,» Rice said.

Modern: Curt Rice is very satisfied with the new name. «It’s understandable that Lonheim prefers a historical name, but after challenges from our board, the government chose a more modern approach. That has to be accepted,» he said. Archive photo: Tobias Myrland

Expected controversy

The guide has answers on how to use the new name in every day conversation, in school exams, and how the new university will use to answer in correspondence. Curt Rice says he expected the name to be a controversial issue.

«But many people are very happy with the name, and the controversy of it is totally normal,» Rice said. «Luckily, we live in a free society where you can explain your reasoning and accept that not everybody agrees with you. I don’t have any problems with that at all.»

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