WTF, acronyms

04 May 22

Acronyms are bad, really bad. Initialisms are too.

Pretty much every time they are used, they end up obfuscating meaning. If we obfuscate meaning, then we make it more difficult to communicate. If we make it more difficult to communicate, then we make it more difficult to do our jobs.

Trying to build an understanding of an unfamiliar domain is already difficult enough, without layering the extra difficulty associated with decrypting unfamiliar and meaningless acronyms and initialisms.

Unless the abbreviated form is universally and internationally recognised and understood (e.g USB, or SMS), then it is probably, definitely a waste of time. Next time you reach for an abbreviation, think about whether you really need it.

And even if you decide you absolutely must use an abbreviation, please FTLOG (for the love of God) explain it the first time you use it in any distinct piece of written communication!