The attempt by the CAEAP to turn EA into a "Profession" is not going to address this problem. The desire for professional status is not coming from the demand-side (CEOs wishing to distinguish genuine practitioners from charlatans) but from the supply-side (like teenagers wanting to be taken seriously). People who think EA is a waste of space are not going to be reassured by the existence of a cartel of people with impressive-looking certificates.
Meanwhile the most experienced and able practitioners are getting on with the work, engaging with the business rather than worrying about preserving a label with such negative connotations.
I have been mulling on this post for a while, but I am now prompted to complete it by CBDI boss David Sprott, who has just produced a good post on The Death of Enterprise Architecture. Perhaps responding to the fuss about the Death of SOA, which exercised a few minds earlier in the year (see my post Has SOA Gone for a Burton?), he suggests that it is Enterprise Architecture that is dead - not just in need of a new label but in need of a new concept.
David proposes Smart Ecosystem Architecture. He refers to some of the CBDI reports I wrote about ecosystems in various industries (Airlines, Insurance, Public Sector) and argues that it's not about the enterprise any more.
"Various influences particularly Complex Event Driven Architecture and Smart Business and IT are strongly predicated on optimizing business design and processes involving all the ecosystem stakeholders."
Not just engaging with the business, then, but looking beyond the business into the demand environment. See my paper (with Philip Boxer) Taking Governance to the Edge (Microsoft Architecture Journal, August 2006)