A TR by any name is just as sweet?
May 6, 2014 9:37 AM   Subscribe

My father was a fan of Teddy Roosevelt; he moved to Oyster Bay in Long Island and got a big kick out of the fact that TR was co closely associated with the town. He died a year ago. Because of this, I added the following on his footstone under his name &c.: A light has gone out of our lives—TR. The cemetery, though, says it doesn’t allow references by name (including initials) to anyone other than the deceased on the footstone. They’re asking me to tell them what TR stands for; if it stands for Teddy Roosevelt, it’s off. It apparently turns, absurdly, on my subjective intent of what TR means. I’d like help from the MF community coming up things I can tell t I can tell the cemetery deciders that TR stands for.
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (13 answers total)
Totally relevant.
posted by jeffjon at 9:38 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tempus repit (time crawls), the opposite of tempus fugit (time flies).
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:42 AM on May 6, 2014 [23 favorites]

To Remember.

Times Remembered.
posted by easily confused at 9:43 AM on May 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

Try and find a two-word book title that has the initials TR and tell them it is a quote from that book. "The Royals" or something.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:44 AM on May 6, 2014

I wouldn't include the TR attribution at all since it isn't a direct quotation. The inspiration for the line is there in spirit.
posted by payoto at 9:45 AM on May 6, 2014 [9 favorites]

It is not a quote; it's paraphrasing. This there is no attribution required and you can simply remove the TR.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:52 AM on May 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'd just put quote marks around it. YOU'LL know what it means.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:56 AM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

If I were in your shoes:

"Dear Cemetery,

To clarify, the use of "--TR" is just a homage to dad. I don't remember exactly when it started or where we got it from, but whenever one of us was going through something rough, we'd dig up quotes and lines from books which really fit the moment or situation, and end it with with "--TR" to signify its truth and application to the tough spot we were in.

I really like the quote I found, because the light truly has gone out of my family's lives, and I can think of no better way to end this statement than to use this shared symbol of our love.



This would have the bonus effect of not having "helpful suggestions" from the cemetery to change it to something more specific, like requesting you actually spell out "Tempus repit" (or some of the other really good suggestions above), instead of just using the initials, which is what you are really going for here.
posted by Debaser626 at 10:13 AM on May 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

You could make a reference to "the rough rider" or "rough riders", or even ruff ryders if you're versed in Dmx.

But don't forget how Teddy was the original rough rider. Maybe a nickname for your dad.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:23 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Too Right.
posted by bearwife at 10:36 AM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just want to repeat: It's not a quote.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:14 AM on May 6, 2014

Anyone who is as familiar with TR as your father was would likely recognize the reference without the attribution. (I did, and I'm not.) Which makes that option kind of a nice secret handshake.

Another possibility: What about an X above the line, and claim it's wingding decoration?
posted by gnomeloaf at 2:13 PM on May 6, 2014

If they don't allow references to anyone but the deceased, then tell them that TR refers directly to the deceased and that it was your father's childhood nickname.

"His little sister couldn't pronounce his name and called him TR and it just stuck!"
"Our father always called him TR - we never knew what it stood for, it was a private joke between them and one that my dad always cherished"
"His softball teammates called him that because he was a right-handed pitcher - TR stands for "The Rightie"

Whatever, just make up a story, as short as possible, one line like above (too many details and they'll get suspicious). I hope you prevail. That kind of meddling in other people's business is really annoying and petty.

Oh, and I'm sorry about your dad.

posted by Kangaroo at 4:45 PM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

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