In Washington today, the President signed the Surname Redressment Act into law. Passed by a narrow margin in a Congress controlled by Democrats, the Act establishes official government aid for those whose surnames begin with the last five letters of the English alphabet.

This aid includes monthly Alphabet Aid available to those who qualify in addition to other programs. Federal law will now require universities and colleges to consider an applicant’s last name in their favor if it is at the back of the alphabet, and the act of sorting people or things by their first letter has been officially outlawed.

Critics of the government, however, were quick to condemn the Act as equivalent to the notorious Alphabet Laws of the 1930s. The Laws had officially discrimitated against those with last names beginning with V, W, X, Y, and Z and offered financial incentives to change them. This resulted in an “Alphabetized Generation” of Yaridoviches, Xaviers, and Zarathustras who lost or gave up their original surnames.

The President, in signing the Act into law, stated that “this is about redressing the wrongs of kindergarten lines past and present, and affirming the human dignity of those who have suffered alphabetical discrimination in their lives.”

Proponents of the Act cite studies claiming long-term psychological and socal damage to children forced to the back of alphabetized lines. In their hurry to agree with the President, though, many of his supporting organizations seem to have not fully read the Act. The American Library Association, for instance, issued s press release hailing the decision followed by another calling for rational and civil discourse after it became apparent that the Act rendered every existing library classification system illegal.

At press time, it was unclear whether the law as signed would extend only to birth names or whether it would include name changes due to marriage or other causes. When asked, the President referred the question to his press secretary, who claimed that “top men” were currently working out the finer details of implementation.

The Surname Redressment Act takes effect one week after being signed into law, a period of time that supporters called “more than adequete” for its implementation.

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