I know it’s unprofessional to say, but this column is unprofessional so I’ll just go off — Happy birthday, Herald!
Of course, I’m not referring to any long-lost uncle Harold on my dad’s side of the family (I believe he was a librarian in Minnesota). No, I’m talking about this publication surviving being on the edge of destruction for 50 years.
Hyperboles aside, #BH4LYFE pride is strong, yet what would have happened if the founders of our paper had chosen some other moniker besides The Badger Herald? While I do not possess records of other names in consideration, I can only guess what other names were in consideration. Here are some names possibly considered for the Herald that never made it to masthead.
The Bucky Times
Everyone loves Bucky — that’s a proven fact. OK, maybe we haven’t done a study on it yet, but I feel like I have authority on the matter since I own about 20 articles of clothing with Bucky on it.
Bucky also had a more nautical look at this point in time, further contrasting the Daily Cardinal’s bird-like aerial approach. With a compellingly Bucky-centric title, it is quite possible The Bucky Times would have literally sailed off of the stands due to commercial appeal. Knowing supply could never match demand, this title was abandoned.
The Funky Isthmus Gazette
Isthmus, Madison’s alternative weekly magazine, did not begin publication until 1976, meaning titles evoking imagery of Madison’s main geographical feature were still up for grabs in 1969.
Of course, if one is staying in the 1969 mentality, one has to consider timely slang terminology to accurately predict a title in this period. According to exhaustive internet research (I found one article in a Google search) “funky” was in peak slang usage in 1969. This trend of terminology would continue throughout the 1970s until Lipps Inc.’s hit 1980 single “Funkytown.”
Alas, foresight to these trend did not exist at the time of naming, and in hindsight the whole funky thing might not have worked.
The Weekly White
The Badger Herald began its life as a weekly publication. Though daily publications marked a significant part of the Herald’s history in the middle of its lifespan, it and basically every other campus publication is back to being a weekly (we love printing costs).
In a play off the established Daily Cardinal, The Weekly White seems at first like a natural alternative title with the whole publication schedule and school color naming scheme. It’s also an alliteration, which typically adds an extra layer of fun.
At the end of the day, The Weekly White just wasn’t a very good title and could easily get confused for different connotations besides the university’s colors. It’s a very good thing this one never went to print.
Broad Sheets of Paper
Despite the Herald’s current tabloid style, the paper used to be printed as a broadsheet, similar to what The Daily Cardinal uses today. This metaphorical title plays upon the imagery of the original look of the Herald, as broadsheets are usually pretty hefty compared to a regular sheet. Broad in its coverage of campus and society as a whole, the title also implies that an investigative lenses is taken with all forms of subject matter.
BSoP for short, it’s understandable why this name may not have been chosen due to a proximity in sound to bebop, which in 1969 was falling out of musical favor for more advanced styles like folk rock.
The Herald by Badgers, for Badgers
As a student publication, the Herald prides itself on being completely student-run. In a manner similar to “Zoom,” the beloved early 2000s children show featuring content “for kids, by kids,” this name would have made it explicitly clear the Herald was, in fact, by Badgers, for Badgers.
Nevertheless, there are problems with this title. It is quite long and would need to be constantly abbreviated, but the acronym options are said. THBB sounds like a neurotransmitter, and THbBfB sounds like someone is upset and running off in a tizzy! This point was probably the deciding factor in not pursuing this name further.