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What does YMCA stand for? It doesn't seem to stand for Young Men's Christian Association that I Googled.

Kaitlan Collins tweeted on Nov 8:

“The crowd outside the White House celebrating Joe Biden’s projected victory is blaring YMCA — the song President Trump closed out his latest rallies with.”

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    Notice that if you google "ymca song," the first returned result is the music video for the 1978 Village People song (which is indeed the correct answer here). Nov 29 '20 at 17:12
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    @Quuxplusone That might be location-bound though. If NewPlanet lives in a non-western country, it's more likely that the Village People's song isn't one of the first results.
    – paddotk
    Nov 29 '20 at 20:14
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    It's not clear if this is a problem understanding the grammar, from which you can infer that "YMCA" is referring to a song. If it's instead about either which song it's talking about or what YMCA actually means in that song, both of those would probably be outside the scope of English language.
    – NotThatGuy
    Nov 30 '20 at 1:29
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    As the comment above mine implies, the title and the question do not match. Please update one or the other so that it is clear whether you are asking "What does YMCA stand for?" or "What does 'blaring YMCA - the song' mean?".
    – JBentley
    Dec 1 '20 at 10:03
  • @Quuxplusone Google Search is personalized, so the result can be different for everyone, like this (yeah, no kidding)
    – Andrew T.
    Dec 1 '20 at 14:15
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The YMCA is the Young Men's Christian Association. Among other evangelical work, they set up hostels in many cities where people could get cheap accommodation in single rooms.

By the 1970s these were also popular with the gay community in American cities and the disco group Village People wrote a popular song about "young men having fun staying at the YMCA". This song and its dance was a major hit, and it is often played a sporting events, with the crowd doing the dance (spelling the letters YMCA with their arms)

Other crowds sing the song too. In particular, both Trump and Biden supporters have sung and danced to the song at rallies. It just a fun, party song that everyone knows, and everyone can dance to.

So YMCA does mean Young Men's Christian Association, as referred to in the popular song.

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    New Yorkers were taking the piss out of Trump when the song was played. POTUS had been using that song in his rallies, probably unaware that the song was an anthem for (gay) (Christian) unemployed men, who just needed a place to hang out, a place that would welcome them and help them find work.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 28 '20 at 12:43
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    I think someone from the record company expressed disapproval that the song was used in rallies that had an objectionable white supremacist feel to them. Yep, found the link bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-54740177
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 28 '20 at 12:45
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    @Mari-LouA - You are right about New Yorker's intentions, but since this is a question that seems very dependent on American culture, I'll note that 1) New Yorkers were taunting or ridiculing Trump, but they weren't "taking the piss". Almost no Americans use the phrase "take the piss" (unless they've hung out with Brits, Irish, Scots, etc.), and that phrase is impossible to figure out from context, and 2) These days the YMCA's services are open to all faiths, not just Christians, and it's been that way for a long time. (Both of these points arise from personal experience.) Nov 29 '20 at 13:38
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    @Casey: IDK about that. I've certainly managed to be an American who doesn't - or didn't until just now, anyway :-) - know that song is associated with gay culture.
    – jamesqf
    Nov 29 '20 at 17:01
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    "YMCA - the song" does not mean Young Men's Christian Association. It means the song "YMCA". I mean, it literally says that. Nov 29 '20 at 22:28
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In addition to the excellent answer already provided, I would like to point out that you are interpreting the phrase wrong. The phrase is not "blaring YMCA — the song".

The dash (—) in this case is used as a separator to separate an explanation from the thing being explained. The dash is used as a replacement for parentheses here.

The thing being explained is "YMCA", and the explanation is the entire following subclause: "the song President Trump closed out his latest rallies with". So, Kaitlan Collins is explaining here for readers not familiar with the song or its usage, especially by the Trump Campaign, that the Joe Biden supporters are playing exactly the song that Donald Trump used in his campaign rallies. In other words, the Joe Biden supporters are mocking Donald Trump by playing his own campaign song back to him, after he has lost the election.

An alternate way of writing this sentence with parentheses instead of the dash would be something like this:

The crowd outside the White House celebrating Joe Biden’s projected victory is blaring YMCA (the song President Trump closed out his latest rallies with).

As a subclause:

The crowd outside the White House celebrating Joe Biden’s projected victory is blaring YMCA, which is the song President Trump closed out his latest rallies with.

Or, as a separate sentence:

The crowd outside the White House celebrating Joe Biden’s projected victory is blaring YMCA. YMCA is the song President Trump closed out his latest rallies with.

Replacing parentheses with a dash is a common usage of dashes. A dash can also be used as an interruptor or to signal a pause. In this case, I feel that in addition to separating the explanation, it also serves as a pause. If I were reading this tweet out loud, I would indeed add a pause for dramatic effect at that exact place:

The crowd outside the White House celebrating Joe Biden’s projected victory is blaring YMCA [PAUSE] the song President Trump closed out his latest rallies with.

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    In some other languages, a colon (:) could also be used instead of the dash (to separate the elaboration from the thing being elaborated). All in all, I personally memorise this use of dash as imagining it standing for extending the hand to point at the thing being talked about.
    – Joker_vD
    Nov 30 '20 at 1:41
  • Ahh, I've got it. Biden supporters are showing their displeasure with Trump's behavior by behaving the same way Trump did. How mature. Dec 1 '20 at 14:19
  • @jmarkmurphy what was immature about the Trump rallies playing of the YMCA song? Big political rallies often use music. Dec 1 '20 at 16:40
  • @UuDdLrLrSs - I always find the hypocrisy of politicians who pass laws that let things like Taco Tuesday be trademarked but then break similar laws by playing music without paying royalties (i.e. "stealing") humorous. Dec 1 '20 at 18:22
  • @HannoverFist well I hope they get sued, whoever they are, if they're not paying royalties! Dec 1 '20 at 18:24

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