Phi Theta Kappa - Name Origin and Usage

Name Origin and Usage

Phi Theta Kappa has a name similar to, and is heavily based on, Phi Beta Kappa, which is an international honor society for universities and traditional four-year colleges. Phi Beta Kappa presidents have spoken at Phi Theta Kappa conventions, and the two societies have formed joint programs to encourage community and junior college graduates to advance to four-year institutions.

Although the acronym "PTK" is sometimes used informally, it is heavily discouraged by the society and is not permitted for official business. The only notable exception is the use of "PTK" in URLs, such as the official international website,, and similar regional and chapter websites. This is due largely to perceived disrespect for the institution by the shortening of the name, and also an attempt to prevent confusion with the Greek letters Rho Tau Kappa, or ρτκ, which look like the Latin letters for P, T, and K that do not truly correspond to the proper Greek letters Φ (Ph), Θ (Th) and Κ (K). Members who use "PTK" in speech at official events are typically corrected, and no written or printed materials using "PTK" can be released to the public. At the organization's international conventions, speakers have been harassed due to the use of "PTK".

Members of Phi Theta Kappa are known as Phi Theta Kappans; any other form of reference, such as "Kappans" or "Phi Thetans," is deemed an "incorrect usage" by the organization.

Read more about this topic:  Phi Theta Kappa

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