The Writers Guild of America, West has changed its name. It’s now the Writers Guild of America West – without the comma. The rebranding came after a not-too-heated debate at a recent WGA West board meeting, where the vote was 8-4, with one abstention, to get rid of the pointless punctuation.
“That comma was not turning up in many places,” laughed a board member who voted to drop it. “I’m not sure many people even knew it existed.” One of the reasons for getting rid of it, he said, was because “punctuation looks odd in logos and corporate names.”
Whether an oversight or by design, the comma didn’t even make it onto the signage at the guild’s headquarters in Los Angeles, which now comports to the guild’s new name.
The name change is the first since 1954, when the old Screen Writers Guild split to become the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East.
Here’s the union’s old logo:
Here’s the new one:
The guild has taken a cautious path to the name change, which has been subject to a gradual phase-out of any printed material and merchandise that utilized the comma, which still appears in many of the guild’s contracts and legal documents.
“The bigger debate,” a former board member said with a laugh, “has been over the size of the second ‘W’ in WGAW– should it be a small ‘w’ to emphasize the unity of the two guilds; a big ‘W,’ which would be more grammatically correct; or a thin ‘W’ or a thick one. I’ve seen it every different way, but I think they’ve given up on that debate.”