Jump to content

Acronyms and English language


Recommended Posts

On 2/1/2021 at 5:28 PM, Mark Huston said:

One of my constant irritations, when I was working, was receiving work emails or memos with acronyms that were not spelled out.  This leaves the reader to try and figure out what the acronyms means which then causes the reader to miss the point of the message.   When I was in school we were taught that when using an acronym it must be spelled out the first time it is used in the document with the acronym following in parentheses.   

 

In most legal documents, this is done.  For example, if a request for work in a particular building goes out for tender, the name of the building will be spelled out in the first paragraph with its acronym in parentheses after, and then stating 'from here on in' the acronym is used throughout the remainder of the document.  I have seen this lots.

 

On another note, in the old Western Union days, when one was charged by the word, many companies substituted one-word lines for phrases to keep the costs down.  A look at the first inside pages shows the word-to-phrase breakdown code when placing and receiving parts orders from the factory.

 

Craig

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, 8E45E said:

And NFG means, Not Fully Guaranteed?

 

Craig

I was under the impression that the polite version was “non-functional gear”. At least that was the jest of it when a note with “NFG” on it was placed on equipment that wasn’t working properly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m so old if I don’t instantly understand acronyms, I just skip over it. If I lose the context, I just get off the thread. I don’t have room in my head at this point except for car things.........

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Heck when I was a kid, many American English words had a different meaning. I remember when "gay" meant "happy".

Of course for obfuscation little beats "It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsey in snide".

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DavidMc said:

I agree with Ed.  Acronyms tend to be regional and this site is read worldwide so if you want to be understood, spell it out.  

 

je suis d'accord avec toi!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Acronyms - and simple letter abbreviations - are a tool for excluding the uninitiated from a conversation...practically every trade has them and the military is particularly fond of them. I remember a comment from Gen. Eisenhower's memoir "Crusade in Europe" where he makes fun of the Army's addiction to them. I spend a lot of time editing them out of the books and articles I work on simply because the goal is to inform people, not provide a platform for the author to show off his command of an arcane language. I'm thinking of one author who uses them (in his own words) "because it makes me look smarter". In fact, it does the exact opposite.

 

I also remember that, when I was in business I'd frequently be called on by salesmen selling computers and/or programs. My standard comment, made before they could open their mouths was "In my own area of expertise I can speak jargon as well as you can...explain to me what you're selling without the the computer lingo..." If they could, I'd listen. If they couldn't - they were gone.

 

On a lighter note, I once gave a friend a ride home after work in my ex-RI National Guard 1939 Dodge Power Wagon. We stopped for gas and the gas station guys were all over it, as you'd well imagine. I told them a few things about it and we were off. As we drove away my friend said "I'd no idea you spoke garage."

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/4/2021 at 8:31 PM, padgett said:

MBATR.

 

A sign for "Mercedes Benz Automatic Transmission Repair"?

"Midwestern Branch, All Terrain Racing"?

Actually, what it's trying to say is irrelevant.

 

It will be helpful to know that writing in initials:

---Is not clever.

---Is not a way to exhibit special intelligence.

---Is not funny.

---Confuses the reader more times than not.

 

We welcome true, relevant insights on a wide

variety of automotive topics!  I know that Padgett

obviously has some to share when the subject is right,

and thank him in advance.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, one more. My wife and I stopped for lunch in a little restaurant in Medina, New York, where the sandstone comes from. Leaving through the glass door I come eye to eye with a big poster. Never heard of the National Wild Turkey Federation but it rolled right out of that little voice in my head.

WTFc.jpg.c4a6a8e8d2b06f37b5936a7bb4cab5f0.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

"the preservation of our hunting heritage." is that politically correct ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2021 at 12:01 PM, Str8-8-Dave said:

The way a technical good writer will educate readers who may not be knowledgeable about a particular acronym looks like this:

 

A   CHMSL  (Corporate High Mount Stop Lamp) was mandated by FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) in 1980.

 

After you lay this groundwork you can reasonably use just the acronym without having to explain to the reader what it means again. 

 

Center High Mounted Stoplight. I think. My Gran Sport has SCO paint!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/1/2021 at 11:09 PM, Billy Kingsley said:

I used to use IIRC but got tired of explaining it means if I recall correctly so now I just spell it out most of the time. Will still use it with a few close friends. 

Thanks. Now I know what that means. Now I just have to remember it! 😉

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Oh, one more. My wife and I stopped for lunch in a little restaurant in Medina, New York, where the sandstone comes from. Leaving through the glass door I come eye to eye with a big poster. Never heard of the National Wild Turkey Federation but it rolled right out of that little voice in my head.

WTFc.jpg.c4a6a8e8d2b06f37b5936a7bb4cab5f0.jpg

Great organization. Wild turkey are coming back nationwide thanks to their efforts. County chapter president lives a half mile down the road from me.

 

There's also QUWF for restoring bobwhite quail, pheasant and other game bird population and habitat. Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation.

 

I see those acronyms so much I don't think twice when I see them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Being involved in aerospace academia, I wouldn’t know what to do without acronyms. Especially when dealing with USAF contracts.  Being former Army has helped, but those Zoomies have acronyms made up from other acronyms. So, it’s a string of acronyms that gets made into its own acronym.  When one of the pilots or contractors starts throwing out those double stacked acronyms, I just smile and hope they think I know what they’re talking about.  Sometimes I can decipher, sometimes I’m more confused leaving the meeting than when I went in. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/1/2021 at 11:50 PM, padgett said:

LSMFT - Something about a finger ? Doug Clark and his group was popular in the Carolinas in the early 60s. (trying to avoid anything potentially offensive).

Nuts- hot nuts! Get 'em from the peanut man!

Nuts- hot nuts! Get 'em any way you can!

 

Yeah that's probably one of the tamer ones... always thought DC and his Hot Nuts shoulda been in Animal House.

 

And yeah I've been to Carolina college frat parties that the Hot Nuts played...😎🍻🕺

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all about context. "AACA" can mean any of the following plus many more.

 

American Arrowhead Collectors Assoc.

Advances in Applied Clifford Algebra

Atlanta Air Cargo Assoc.

Alaska Air Cargo Assoc.

American Association of Clinical Anatomists

African American Cultural Alliance

Architects Accreditation Council of Australia

American Air Campers Assoc.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

All the more reason to just spell it out. Communication is the key to life, acronyms only communicate confusion. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, or TMSAISTI.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just realized that back in the last century when I started writing for magazines, newsletters, and on Prodigy and through most of the first two decades of this, no-one ever complained about my word or acronym usage. Did I miss something ?

 

ps TANSTAAFL came from RAH.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/1/2021 at 6:27 PM, GregLaR said:

Can we talk about me instead please?

I really lose interest if the focus is not on me and my super powers.

 

Looks like this conversation went full circle, back to page one.

 

Mr P You were doing so well after your requested intervention, but looks like it's time for another AA meeting for you....... Acronym/Abbreviation Abusers 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, padgett said:

ps TANSTAAFL came from RAH.

 

Padgett, after all the helpful advice your 

forum friends gave you, do you still believe

that writing in initials is somehow clever or

smart?  We've assured you that it is not.

 

Please share your expertise only with relevant,

helpful postings.  Then, your reputation will be

like some of our other experts'.  People will say,

"A Padgett posting.  I want to read what he

has to say!"

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, padgett said:

...when I started writing for magazines, newsletters, and on Prodigy and through most of the first two decades of this, no-one ever complained about my word or acronym usage. Did I miss something ?

 

If you wrote for publications of merit, the editor

absolutely would have eliminated unintelligible

initials and acronyms.  It's his job to produce a

good, insightful, informative publication.  A good

editor might also have worked with you to improve

your communications for future articles.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

If you wrote for publications of merit, the editor

absolutely would have eliminated unintelligible

initials and acronyms.  It's his job to produce a

good, insightful, informative publication.  A good

editor might also have worked with you to improve

your communications for future articles.

 

 

 

4 hours ago, padgett said:

Correct on all counts.

 

Now this brings your self requested intervention to an important crossroad.........

 

Were your editors that bad? You forgot what they told you? or you just don't want to improve on your communication? 

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

 

Now this brings your self requested intervention to an important crossroad.........

 

Were your editors that bad? You forgot what they told you? or you just don't want to improve on your communication? 

In the early days of the website we had an old acronym if you recall that may be the issue here:

PWI (Posting While Intoxicated).

  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Peter J.Heizmann said:

In the early days of the website we had an old acronym if you recall that may be the issue here:

PWI (Posting While Intoxicated).

 

Peter, so I guess this really is an intervention of some kind....

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I don't go to a therapist. They keep telling me their problems.

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Padgett telling his therapist about starting this thread. :)

 

6uTTkD-Q5aHoyNwi6WJ__vArr2Vl_y8phHU9Bo_1

The caption should have said; Sometimes I tie myself to the whipping post.

 

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...