How many of you have looked at the new motto “Peace by Peace” and wondered if it has been misspelled? I have. At first, I thought, “Shouldn’t it be ‘Piece by Piece?’” Then I realized the truth—it is a college motto. This means that it has to be somewhat ambiguous, and more importantly, confusing.
Well, this one is in fact ambiguous, but I don’t know if it really has a truly confusing ring to it. For instance, not too long ago in this very same galaxy, I went to a college that had the motto “the Joy of the Journey.” This motto was definitely adequate in the confusion department—I mean, think about it, how is the journey joyful if you are going to, say, a funeral?—but it was not very ambiguous. In this respect I am so glad that I don’t go to a school with such a tame motto any more.
I still think, however, that if our motto wants to stick out, it needs more oomph. I took it upon myself to find the perfect motto. First I found “In ∆XYZ, measure of angle X = 58˚, x = 9.3, and z = 7.5. Find the measure of angle Z.” This was certainly ambiguous, and possibly confusing to some of us, but with simple math, it can easily be calculated approximately 43.15˚ or 136.85˚. So I tried a different approach. I thought our motto could be “Fox News.” They most definitely are confusing, but clearly they are too “fair and balanced” to be ambiguous.
I was about to give up when I realized what I had missed all along. All I needed to do was to confuse-ify “Peace by Peace.” All I could come up with, though, was “PeacexPeace” which looks like a math equation. Still not the confusion of epic proportions I wanted. So maybe I only need to explain “Peace by Peace” in a confusing way. Here is a hypothetical conversation:
Unconfused student: I love our new motto.
Me: Did you know that our motto is talking about obesity?
Unconfused student: (becoming confused) I really don’t think. . .
Me: No, for real, Americans are happy cause we are overweight. To heal the world “Peace by Peace” we simply need to feed all the hungry people pie, piece by piece, so they become happy too, get it?
Now Confused Student: Sorry, I need to go to my infinitely less confusing advanced quantum mechanics class.
I had done it. I had managed to take our motto and use its ambiguity to apply it to something totally irrelevant, which simultaneously effectively confuse-ified it. Finally, at long last, I am making peace with our new motto.