Re: When to Spell Out Acronyms

Subject: Re: When to Spell Out Acronyms
From: "David Castro" <thejavaguy -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 09:16:14 -0500

Harris, Michael wrote:

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.

The standard for the government documents I write (for the Navy) is to
spell out the acronym the first time it appears, no matter how common
the acronym (or abbreviation) is. PC? Spell it out. DoD? Spell it out.

One thing that can get annoying with spelling it out the first time is
when large swaths of content get moved around. What used to be the
first instance may no longer be the first instance. It'd be nice if
there was a tool out there that would automatically spell out the
first instance for me....

We also include a table at the end with all of the acronyms in the
document included, in case someone comes into the document after the
acronym has been spelled out, and needs to know what it stands for.

-David Castro
thejavaguy -at- gmail -dot- com

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When to Spell Out Acronyms: From: Harris, Michael
Re: When to Spell Out Acronyms: From: Al Geist

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