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Subject:RE: Acronyms--How often do you spell them out? From:"Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com> To:"Darges, Katherine" <katherine -dot- darges -at- defensegp -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Tue, 1 Aug 2006 08:27:26 -0400
The method described by Gene Kim-Eng is really the correct way to go.
Our job as tech writers is to make it easy for our "customer". Cutting
corners invites problems, including liability issues, too.
Put yourself in the place of the reader who gets the document minus the
section which contains first usage and definitions of terms, etc. Big
Up until some time ago, this also the way news copy was written, but
unfortunately (in my opinion) it has changed. I started off with a
degree in news journalism, worked as a newspaper reporter, then a public
information officer for a major nonprofit organization and then
publications editor for several employers over the years before jumping
into technical writing fulltime in the early 1980s.
I still use some of my news writing techniques as tech writer, and it
really pays off.
Bottom line, define unfamiliar terms at first usage in each section that
MAY be removed.
-- Ken Poshedly
From: techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Darges, Katherine
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2006 3:23 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Acronyms--How often do you spell them out?
I am editing a multi-section document, with each section 50 to 75 pages.
The document was written by the Government for the Government. Phrases
that get turned into acronyms are spelled out when they are first used,
followed by their acronyms in parentheses - most in the first section.
Appendix A is a complete acronym list - about 300 all together (this IS
the Government, after all).
Would you re-identify the acronyms in each subsequent section as well as
adding the new ones? Or, is once really enough, based on the fact that
the readers of the document have all been involved in the project of
which the document is a record?
V/r (that's "Very respectfully" in Government shorthand),
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