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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Fine print makes it really clear

By Lee Cataluna
Advertiser Columnist

The ad in the Sunday paper showed a styrofoam cooler (with lid!) on sale for $3.33 at Longs. Now, I love Longs just as much, if not more, than the average Hawai'i resident, but I had to smile at the small disclaimer added to the picture of the cooler (with lid). In a rectangular box, shoppers were reminded, "CONTENTS NOT INCLUDED."

Like maybe somebody woulda' thought that for $3.33, the cooler came with ice, a cold pack and some tuna sandwiches.

But then again, you have to be very careful. These days, you can't assume anything. Things come with disclaimers, reminders, a couple paragraphs of fine print.

For example, you might assume you know the name of the University of Hawai'i-Manoa athletic team. You might think that would be an easy first-round question on Carole Kai's "Jan Ken Po." But consider this memo that was recently sent to Hawai'i media outlets from the UH Office of Intercollegiate Athletics:

"In an attempt to promote our athletic teams on a consistent basis, please be advised that the University of Hawai'i Athletic team nicknames are as follows:

Football: "Warriors"

Men's Basketball: "Rainbow Warriors"

Baseball: "Rainbows"

Men's Volleyball: "Warriors"

Men's Golf: "Warriors"

Men's Tennis: "Rainbow Warriors"

Men's Swimming & Diving: "Rainbows" or "Rainbow Warriors"

Sailing: "Rainbows"

All Women's Sports Teams: "Rainbow Wahine" or "Rainbows"

The letter goes on to say:

" 'Rainbow Wahine' is the official nickname of ALL women's teams. Please do not use just 'Wahine' alone when referring to any of the women's teams as it is not the proper nickname. Referring to a women's team as 'Wahine' is fine if you are using the term 'Wahine' to distinguish between male and female. Therefore, simply using 'Wahine Volleyball' or 'Wahine Basketball' is acceptable. Referring to the team as 'Wahine' is inappropriate."

Who knew?! Who knew that while you were sitting there in the stands in your green, black and white sweat shirt shaking a ti-leaf like a lunatic and screaming your lungs out, "GO BOWS!" that you weren't really cheering for anybody?

But now that there's been clarification, we can all be sure to refer to the UH teams on a consistent basis. And we can enjoy the freedom of choice to refer to men's swimming and diving events as either "Rainbows" OR "Rainbow Warriors." It's our choice.

And speaking of disclaimers, there is one to add here: That Longs cooler was on sale last week, not this week. So if you were planning on picking one up to take to the next Rainbow, Rainbow Warrior Warrior or Rainbow Wahine game, sorry. Anyway, you'd have to buy the ice and tuna sandwiches separately. Contents not included.

Lee Cataluna's column runs Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Reach her at 535-8172 or lcataluna@honoluluadvertiser.com.