RE: iff vs. if in documents

Subject: RE: iff vs. if in documents
From: "Michelle Wolfe" <WOLFEM -at- bcbsil -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 09:54:11 -0600

Jesse wrote:

<<OK, everyone know that "iff" means "if and only iff" in a mathematical
<<context (theorems, postulates, etc.)

I've got to say that this was a new one to me. I have been developing documentation for over 10 years at some pretty high tech firms using lots of special mathematical simulation software and have never heard of the "iff" acronym. I guess it is true that you learn something new every day <grin>

I asked around the software department at my current client if anyone knew what "iff" stood for and the only response I got was something about "friend or foe". However, these are business software people. One mentioned that Access or VB may use iff as part of code.

So, to my point. IMHO if "iff" is a common acroynm for your audience, the first time you use it, define it. After that, iff is fine. If "iff" is a part of code, you should style it different than the rest of the writing. Otherwise, write if and only if when appropriate and don't use the acronym.

Good luck

Michelle Wolfe
Training Consultant

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