Pay-as-You-Go? No, Go as I Pay, Everybody Pay-Go Tonight

When did “pay-as-you-go” become “pay-go?”

No memo was received that “as,” “you” and two hyphens have gone the way of the dodo.

Are we in that much of a hurry that “as” and “you,” which are the two words that actually explain the budgetary concept of “pay-as-you-go,” must be eliminated?

Apparently in the busy world of the California state Legislature, there simply isn’t sufficient time to say “pay-as-you-go,” only enough time for “pay-go.”

This must be true since at a March 22 Joint Hearing of the Committees on Improving State Government, at least six lawmakers used the phrase “pay-go,” as did the proponents of a constitutional amendment they claim will “reform” state government.

No member of the committee ever referred to the notion as “pay-as-you-go.”

Only Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, called the spending discipline by its proper name.

Maybe she did so to distinguish herself from the supporters of the constitutional amendment whose enthusiasm she did not share.

“Pay-as-you-go” is not “pay-go.”

The phrase  “pay-as-you-go” describes a mechanism to rein in over-spending.

“Pay-go” sounds like a game offered at card clubs.

And, using the utmost brevity, “pay-go” is what usually happens at the end of a fiscal transaction in a retail establishment.

Pay. Go.

By extension, after exiting:

Walk. Car. Drive. Home.

Not. Right.


Filed under: Venting


  1. I think it is PAYGO, as in it actually stands for Pay As You Go.

    Comment by CoolDMZ — 3.22.2010 @ 7:54 pm

  2. … and it’s “May revision,” not “May revise”

    Comment by Martin Helmke — 3.23.2010 @ 7:14 am

  3. Where is William Safire when you need him?

    Comment by Robyn Boyer — 3.23.2010 @ 10:45 am

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