What’s Our Name?

Preparing for Dr. Peterson’s visit next week, I’ve been asked “so what’s our official abbreviation”?

When the Enterprise Innovation Institute was formed four years ago, Martha Schoonmaker made a valiant attempt to ban any sort of abbreviation. But it’s ten syllables, and humans are lazy, and some sort of short form was inevitable.

Unfortunately, the obvious acronym—”EII”—leads directly to “EIEIO,” which is not particularly flattering. I’d like to strongly discourage its use.

So, let me make it official. We’re “E-I-squared.”

How do we type that?

In email, or spreadsheets, or for internal use, just type “EI2.”

On the Web, type “EI<sup>2</sup>” to get the superscript: EI2.

For external-use documents prepared in Microsoft Word… the superscript function will normally make the “2” too small to read easily. It’s acceptable because it’s so simple. But the more obsessive among you might find it worthwhile to use ‘Format > Font > Character Spacing > Raised by > 3 points,’ then reduce the fontsize of the ‘2’ to 80%. Do it once and set up a macro, or cut-and-paste.

In PowerPoint or Keynote… again, the superscript “2” is acceptable, but think about how it’s going to look on the big screen, and consider arranging custom text blocks to achieve a better effect. Compare the differences below:

But, however you type it, we all pronounce it the same way: “E-I-squared.” Not “E-I-I.” Not “E-I-two” (yes, I’ve heard that!). “E-I-squared.” I’ve (politely) corrected both Mark Allen and Gary Schuster on it, so you can correct anybody you encounter using the wrong name!


  1. Karen Fite says

    OK, OK, I confess…. for the past 2-3 years I have an auto correct command in WORD that inserts EI2(with superscript) when I type eieio….

  2. Frank Mewborn says

    Why don’t we address the root cause of the problem and change our name??? Very few of our clients could tell you what EI2 stands for anyway. The word Enterprise adds no value. How about The Georgia Tech Innovation Institute – GTII?

  3. I have to agree with Frank. That it takes this much effort to teach people how to remember, say, and spell the name is testament to the fact that it’s a poor name. After we figure out what our strategic direction is, a new name that reflects it would be appropriate.

  4. stephen bollinger says

    The answer to the question, “What’s Our Name?” should always include Georgia Tech.

    The focus of this post is how to properly refer to the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, yet there is no mention of Georgia Tech. It is as if the Enterprise Innovation Institute exists in a vacuum. The benefit to Georgia Tech in creating the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute is that it demonstrates that Georgia Tech is a solid contributor to creating and conducting business in the state of Georgia. This strategy works only if Georgia Tech’s name is boldly associated with the noteworthy work done by the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

    If Georgia Tech’s name is no longer closely associated with the Enterprise Innovation Institute, then there is no point in Georgia Tech continuing to support the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

    So, in answer to your question, “What’s Our Name?”, the answer is Georgia Tech.

    • Stephen Bollinger: I agree with you 100%, except that you are answering a different question.

      For external purposes, we absolutely are “One Georgia Tech”, and I’d challenge you to find a single piece of evidence (other, perhaps, than the meta-evidence of this single blog post) indicating otherwise. I think John can give you examples where I’ve deemphasized the internal program names in favor of the “Georgia Tech” brand.

      This blog post was aimed at a different problem, which is how to distinguish our people and programs from the other 2000 people on campus. There, the “One Georgia Tech” naming breaks down, and it becomes necessary to have unit names like GTRI or COC or Parking. THAT’S where I have been consistent about using “EI2” instead of “EII.” Please don’t read more into this three-year-old post than that.