Re: Assumptions about abbreviations

Subject: Re: Assumptions about abbreviations
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 23:25:41 -0800

On Thu, 27 Feb 1997 10:37:35 -0600, Paula Puffer wrote:

>In light of the fact that someone else also had to ask about what an
>abbreviation meant, and going on the assumption that not all people on the
>list know the lingo, is there some way that a list of commonly used
>abbreviations might show up in the FAQ?

Does that list of abbreviations include 'FAQ'? :-)

>I asked one of my profs here what
>an SME was and her answer was very different from how it was defined here. I
>also sent a question to a person offlist to find out what another
>abbreviation was.

I was helping a student muddle his way through learning email yesterday
(BTW, did I mention I got a new job? "Help desk" at a technical
school... in fact, the same one I attended some eight or nine years ago
:) and noticed he was abbreviating "assignment" as "ass't". Now in my
experience, that's usually been the abbreviation for "assistant"; I've
also seen it used for "assortment" here and there, but never for

Which leads to another point: a given abbreviation *can* mean a lot of
different things, although usually (but not always) one can determine
the proper word from the context. It's bad enough when all parties
reading the material at least have some idea of what various
abbreviations *can* mean, but what about when someone only knows of the
most common one?

Equally as confusing is words for which there are several abbreviations
used (whether or not most of them are 'correct'): "mountain" for
example, might be (and has been) shortened to mt., mtn., mntn., mount.,
and several other variations.

Your friend and mine,
<insert standard disclaimer here>

Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting;
it is not logical, but it is often true.
- Spock

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