“A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste” and Also…

The New York Times reports that the United Negro College Fund, the American foundation that since 1944 has funded scholarships for black students and supported America’s 39 private historically black colleges and universities, will change its motto.

Since 1972 it’s used the widely recognized “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Now, according the Times article, it’s going to go with “A mind is a terrible thing to waste but a wonderful thing to invest in.” The organization created the new motto with the Advertising Council and advertising agency Young & Rubicam (or Y&R). Y&R was also responsible for the original motto.

And high school English teachers shudder.

UNCF says that it’s decided to change the slogan because , according to Michael L. Lomax, president and chief executive of the organization, the United States works to,

compete globally by producing talent. This isn’t charity any longer. This is an investment in individual students, an investment in our nation’s work force, an investment in retaining our global competitiveness.

You’d think the organization could have found a way to express that without ending a sentence with a preposition.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer