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"All I can tell you is we're going to keep DOE," said the amiable voice on the Department of Energy phone when asked the burning question posed by the official inauguration of the new department of Education. Would there now be two DOEs for short?

No problem. An equally amiable voice at the Department of Education said that itsm short form is ED.

And what of the Department of Health and Human Services, which was the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare -- HEW -- until it had the E knocked out of it? It becomes not DOHHS, commanding as that might appear, but simply HHS.

It's just a little more federal alphabet soup for the public to get used to. And, from all that the first secretary of education, Shirley Hufstedler, has said, the effort will be worth it. She begins with the valuable perspective that "while federal structures may come and go, the homes and communities of the nation will continue to be the front line of education."

Welcome, ED!

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