The decision that the Sc-Fi Network be changed to "Syfy" seems to be part of a larger system of rebranding, and also rethinking the relationship between the name and the thing -- MTV has not played music for years (I don't even think MTV2 does either), KFC tried out "Kitchen Fresh Chicken," the History Channel plays Ice Road Truckers (which I guess is history in the larger sense of "it happened") and once played The Planet of the Apes. Back when it was the Sci-Fi channel it played Cabin Fever which has no science fiction element at all. I feel sort of fine with all this, but I can see how it might drive some people crazy.
The thing that sets the SyFy thing apart a bit is that often Sci-Fi people are sticklers for accuracy -- from the accuracy of hard sci-fi ("How does the Warp Drive work") to the accuracy of an internally consistent world building ("Everyone must return to the island. Everyone. Except I guess not Walt for some reason"). Names matter to Sci-fi fans: I once got into a conversation where I was told a female looking android should be called a "gynoid" (since "andros" means "man"). Sci-fi Fans are also pretty serious about branding a lot of the time -- the "Batman" brand has to mean Bruce Wayne, and "Captain America" brand has to mean "Steve Rogers" -- and the comic book companies know this, which is why these two characters will never die, even when they appear to. Combined with the social standing of science fiction fans, the decision to brand Sci-Fi as SyFy (I imagine) would feel to a lot of people like someone who is insulting and ditching their small group of friends because it will help them make more friends with a larger, more popular group.
But this reminded me that among some sci-fi fans the term sci-fi is itself verboten -- I was once told to use SF, as sci-fi is insulting, a claim I had never heard before, and have only heard about once since. I take it that people in the past have used "sci-fi" as an insulting term, and so maybe tainted it, but to rebrand as "SF" as a result seems to be a similar move as the one that resulted in the SyFy channel. I have heard it described in terms that sound to me like the ones used to discuss racial epithets, it has been used for years to demean the genre and so on, and we should not encouraged the continued use of this nasty term (perhaps someone out there has a counter argument that it should be rehabilitated and embraced).
"Sci-fi" feels normal and unpretentious to me, but I think I like it most of all because I don't want to be the guy telling other people what it should be called, because that seems fussy to me. But maybe I am not appreciating some aspect of this debate. Do folks around here have an opinion on the subject?