While driving down the old street I used to live off of last week, I saw something that seemed right out of Mike Judge's Idiocracy. The Washington Mutual bank is now WaMu. No, it's not just a website URL; the whole place has been re-branded this. I can understand how an abbreviation can be useful (ie, NAACP instead of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), but Washington Mutual is not a mouthful to say. So, what's going on here?
The sound of WaMu just sounds odd to me. Part the sound of a baby crying and part the sound of a cow mooing, this name sounds like something Ben Burt would have for something in one of the Star Wars films. I definitely wouldn't think of a bank when I heard this. It's like if Bank of America shortened their name to BoA or Wells Fargo shortened their name to WeFa.
My big "huh?" is why the need for a name change. Maybe this was made to tell the difference between Washington Mutual and Northwestern Mutual. I'm not sure. If anything, I'm reminded of a mid-90s SNL skit with David Spade. Spade, mocking Don Lapre's infomercials, noted how much extra time he had because he only used abbreviations. Of course the joke was you couldn't understand what he was talking about. I think you can make the case here with WaMu.