Re: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know

Subject: Re: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know
From: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwrl <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 14:26:21 -0500

All I can tell you is that when my company got bought by IBM a couple of
years back, they LOVE to use acronyms. Often Acronym Finder was no help
(typically you can get hundreds of matches, and even using the "technology"
filter still returns multiple matches for most entries). IBM used so many
acronyms that they have their own internal glossary on their intranet. And
there were still multiple definitions of some acronyms. It was very hard
to get acclimated when you had no idea what people were talking about in
meetings.

It does not hurt to define your acronyms, no matter how common you think
they are in your industry. I can guarantee you that someone, somewhere uses
the exact same letters to mean something totally different that what you're
expecting.

Help your users figure out what your random set of letters means in the
context of your documentation.


On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM, McLauchlan, Kevin <
Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> wrote:

> Yah but, was the term "IP" in general use in that context? Or would it
> have been just among lawyers, if it was?
> My audience is supposed to be technical to some extent (they certainly
> need to know what we mean by IP, to get our product configured...).
> My context (and that of my readers) is connecting to the interweebs.
>
> I'm not a business geek, but I've been reading all sections of the
> newspaper since the 1960s, and I don't recall seeing "IP" until fairly
> recently, in either context. And I certainly met the Internet Protocol
> meaning years before I encountered somebody saying "IP" and meaning
> intellectual property. So, from my perspective, it looks like yet another
> case of a perfectly respectable business or legal term that didn't start
> being a widely used initialism or acronym until somebody wanted a buzzword.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gene Kim-Eng [mailto:techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
> Sent: December-20-13 12:01 PM
> To: McLauchlan, Kevin; Mike McCallister; Julie Stickler; Elissa K. Miller
> Cc: techwrl
> Subject: Re: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the
> audience should already know
>
> 120 years ago, with the founding of the United International Bureaux for
> the Protection of Intellectual Property, which was superseded in 1967 by
> the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization.
>
> One of the reasons why "common terms" in technical manual glossaries are
> useful is that many acronyms have multiple meanings and the technical ones
> are often the Johnny-come-lately ones.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> On 12/20/2013 7:26 AM, McLauchlan, Kevin wrote:
> > The "intellectual property" = "IP" thing started becoming popular
> > (er.... sorry.... I meant "started gaining traction") years ago
>
> The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
> may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
> from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
> error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
> message and deleting it from your computer without copying
> or disclosing it.
>
>
>
>


--
Julie Stickler
http://heratech.wordpress.com/
Blogging about Agile and technical writing


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Follow-Ups:

References:
On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know: From: Elissa K. Miller
Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know: From: Julie Stickler
RE: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know: From: Mike McCallister
RE: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: [BULK] Re: On the value of glossaries containing terms the audience should already know: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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