Opinions, please: 2-letter taboo

Subject: Opinions, please: 2-letter taboo
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- SD -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Mon, 1 May 1995 14:50:02 IDT

On the following question, I'd like the opinions of as many list-members as
possible. Send to mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il, please, rather than to the group, unless
your opinion itself raises a new point for discussion. I'll post a summary
of the answers I receive.

The name of the product I document begins with V.

The word "documentation" begins with D.

Accordingly, the department in charge of part numbers has dubbed my
latest document VD-AX0-X-V1.0 and informed me that all documents for
the same product will be receiving part numbers beginning with the
designation "VD." The number is printed at the bottom-right of the
front cover, in 12-point type.

Had I known that the abbreviation was in the offing, I could have
had it changed to something else like "VL" (L for Literature). But
I didn't know in advance, and now the standard for part numbers
has been promulgated in a database and the database has gone to
other subsidiaries to which we would like to avoid sending
corrections if possible.

So the upper managers (none of them native speakers of English) tell
me "Oh well, it's just the beginning of the part number, it's not
standing alone." One fellow who has lived in the USA more recently
than I says "Oh well, it would have been better avoided, but for
diseases the abbreviation STD has largely replaced the abbreviation
VD anyway."

I still feel very bad about spending hundreds of hours working on
a document that is going to get snickered at because of its part
number. So tell me...

Are people really going to notice? Are people really going to snicker?
Should I press to have the numbering system changed? Or would I be
making too much of a fuss over an expression that no longer jumps out
to hit the eye the way it would 40 years ago? What was your own
reaction when you saw that "VD" was the issue?

Mark L. Levinson | E-mail: mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il
Summit Design (EDA) Ltd. | Voice: +972-9-507102, ext. 230 (work),
Box 544 | +972-9-552411 (home)
46105 Herzlia, ISRAEL | Fax: +972-9-509118
"Graphics are especially useful for drawing readers into the book."
- STC Intercom

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