TO THINE OWN SELF BE HOU
THE CASE AGAINST "HTX"
Houston is a forward-looking city – we always have been. We love innovation. We celebrate the misfit tinkerer. We love new. And hell, we even love new nicknames like Bey-Town, Hustle Town and Screwston joining the 20-years-and-counting H-town and Clutch City. Lately, we are also finding great ways to celebrate our history, preserve landmarks, and integrate old into new. Most recently, it feels as if we’ve turned a corner, and it’s no longer commonplace to hear those tired, tepid, half-hearted, and sometimes defensive descriptions of Houston. By now, we all know how to defend our city confidently from the naysayers and copycats. We know who we are, and we don’t need to steal from any other city.
So what’s with all this HTX nonsense? Somewhere around 2013, some enterprising, but not-so-clever Houstonians decided to co-opt Austin’s near-ubiquitous ATX, tweak it for Houston, and slap it on their events and marketing. If Austin is ATX, then Houston is HTX. Get it? Yes, we get it. It’s a straight-up ripoff.
And aren’t you forgetting HOU? HOU is the perfect three-letter abbreviation for H-town. Instantly recognized and never confused for another city. I will concede that the X is cool, but copying Austin is not cool. HOU is lyrical and downright lovely to say, mostly due to its similarity to Y-O-U, as in, “I love HOU” or FYHA’s “May the Force be with HOU.” HTX doesn’t rhyme with anything. And who says HTX isn’t Harlingen, TX or Hempstead, TX or Huntsville, TX?
HOU are you?
Now don’t start with, “But HOU is the code for Hobby Airport!” Yes, it is, but it is ALSO a great abbreviation for Houston. (Side note, IAH is only the code for the big airport, and not for the city. No one does that, dude.)
So what can you do? You can swap out HTX for HOU on your Twitter handle. You can remind our Newstonians that in Houston, we don’t need to steal anyone else’s branding. You can shut down anyone who uses it to look cool or edgy or punk or authentic or even Austin-y. You can use the hashtag #NeverHTX or #KeepATX or #IloveHOU.
And always remember, to thine own self be HOU.