WC or Wootton Chutney?

Post Epiphany, it’s about time I reported the results of the little Christmastide diversion I offered on the question of Village Abbreviation. You will recall that some villagers had expressed disapproval of the abbreviation ‘WC’; though most thought it fine in combination with other letters, e.g. WCGC (Garden Club), WCVH (Village Hall).

The response from villagers to the list offered of 8 possible ways forward suggested that everyone was having a happy and busy time, and that nearly all were uninterested in abbreviation. A distillation of the few distinguished exceptions, however, suggested that opposition to ‘WC’ existed, perhaps particularly among the more sensitive of villagers, but was by no means widespread. One respondent took some pleasure in the feathers presumed to have been ruffled by the use of ‘WC’. Two essayed historical analysis of the water closet, though one rather fell for the inaccuracy of Wikipedia as a source.

There was an inventive suggestion of ‘WootNay’, which might be regarded as charming and West Somersetian by analogy to ‘Crampton’ for Carhampton. Two villagers prefer ‘Wootton C’. Only one liked ‘WnCy’. There was sentiment in favour of no abbreviation. One respondent gave careful thought to the use of ‘WC’ in conversation, which could provoke discussion and, probably temporary, resolution. (A village pedant has not heard ‘WC’ uttered, only emailed.)

Perhaps the best suggestion was for a name change, to Wootton Chutney, as the village is full of Old Preserves.

As for a bar graph or other representation of results, sadly, the haul was inadequate and statistically insignificant. The only defensible conclusion from the exercise is that no particular action is justified. We shall evidently continue to go our own ways – and to enjoy doing so.

Best wishes,

Roger J C