While the Orwellian prediction of “Newspeak” makes the constant and vexatious habit of abbreviation no surprise in the present, one would have thought that it could have at least managed to evade usage on people’s names. Alas, not so with Paul Thomas Anderson, whose ardent, largely “male” fanbase has prompted the overly familiar epithet of “PT” to arise. But unless we’re talking about the famed ringmaster, no “man” should have the misfortune of such a bastardization of his moniker. What’s more, as the auteur known for sweeping, lengthy cinematic experiences, doesn’t he at least deserve the courtesy of being addressed as his own overly long for the American tongue name?
And, to be sure, this abridgement is employed primarily by “male” acolytes of his oeuvre. Because, by and large, women only get on the Paul Thomas Anderson train when their boyfriends do, generally for the cachet of being one of the “cool girls” of the sort that Tove Lo declares herself to be. And because women are typically better at savoring and appreciating things, they’re less prone to blurt out Paul Thomas Anderson’s name in an incomplete form. Their “male” counterparts, however, get a vague titillation out of the, in their minds, “informality” of addressing him as such. Which is really nothing short of dweebo.
So next time you think of asking someone if they’ve seen such and such “PT” Anderson movie, please, use your words. It’s not that many more syllables.