"Back that ass up" periodic table: Yearbook quote gets senior in trouble with humorless administrators.

High Schooler Spells "Back That Ass Up" in Yearbook via Periodic Table Code

The Slatest
Your News Companion
May 20 2014 10:53 AM

High Schooler Punished for Spelling "Back That Ass Up" in Yearbook via Periodic Table Code

140520_SLATEST_YearbookChemistry_01

WSB

In an outrageous perversion of justice, an Atlanta-area high school senior named Paris Gray who spelled "back that ass up" using periodic table abbreviations in her yearbook quote was held out of a "senior walk" event and booted from commencement speaking duties, she says. From local ABC affiliate WSB:

The message was: "When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus."
Advertisement

Her mom is cool, though.

"My first reaction was, you are such a nerd," said Gray's mother Zarinah Woods.

A school district spokesperson told WSB that "no decision has been made" about the commencement-speaking issue, which in these situations can mean "we didn't realize this would be a big deal and are going to to reverse our decision without admitting we're reversing our decision."

Spelling with periodic-table code, incidentally, is a cherished tradition in some circles, and has in fact been used before to excellent effect in a different yearbook quote.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

  Slate Plus
Lexicon Valley
March 31 2015 9:17 AM The Redline of March Overheard on email: Slates copy desk rounds up the month’s style and grammar rulings.