ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From LoO to LoP to LoO

The possible abbreviations for the Leader of Opposition offer an interesting diversion into the origin of words and their usage. 

The Congress Party seems to have given up its demand and expectation, indeed its sense of entitlement, that it had to secure the position of the Leader of the Opposition in the 16th Lok Sabha by virtue of having the largest number of members in the motley Opposition, though still less than the legally mandated 10% of the total strength of the House. The Speaker too has announced her decision rejecting the claim of the Congress Party. However, the dispute itself and the way it has been arti­culated raise a rather risible and interesting anomaly in the conventions of English language usage and the forming of abbreviations.

In brief, this is the consistent abbreviation of the term, Leader of Opposition, to LoP, instead of what it would normally have been, Loo. The preference in the statements i­ssued by the Congress on LoP rather than Loo is understandable, though some might say that the place where the Congress Party finds itself now after its triumphalist past 10 years is perhaps more accurately reflected in the term it has rejected. Naturally, newspaper reporting generally kindlier disposed to the Congress Party has also opted to abbreviate Leader of Opposition to LoP rather than the more accurate Loo.

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