When to Spell Out Acronyms

Subject: When to Spell Out Acronyms
From: "Harris, Michael" <Michael -dot- Harris -at- innocon -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 07:00:14 -0500

One of the most fluid issues I find in writing technical documentation is determining when to spell out acronyms in the first usage and when to 'assume' that since all of the readers should have some knowledge of the material, that spelling it out is not necessary.

Does anyone have guidance in this regard? The primary customer of our documentation is a technical branch of the Army. While CPU is well known, does it get spelled out? How about CORBA, which a local manager thinks is well-known enough as Common Object Request Broker Architecture and does not need to be spelled out.

Thank you for your input.


Michael "It's my job to make you look good" Harris

Michael B. Harris
Technical Writer
Innovative Concepts, Inc. | michael -dot- harris -at- innocon -dot- com
8200 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700 | http://www.innocon.com <http://www.innocon.com/>
McLean, Virginia, 22102 USA | Phone: 703/893-2007, X510


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