Re: I solicit your HELP (etc.)

Subject: Re: I solicit your HELP (etc.)
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 11:17:16 -0500

> Oh, I was just expressing my personal bias against acronyms and
> abbreviations. Too many technical documents wind up looking like alphabet
> soup, IMHO.

Which makes the previous sentence kinda ironic. :-) Even when we hate
'em, they do have their place.

> To answer your question, I meant spell out et cetera, but on reflection, I
> like your second idea better. Give the complete list and have done with it,
> if possible.

<opinion> If the problem with abbreviations/acronyms is that they are
unclear to the reader, spelling "et cetera" won't solve it, because
readers are used to seeing "etc." (at least in the U.S.) and using "et
cetera" is actually *less* clear. If the problem with
abbreviations/acronyms is simply that they clutter the page with
meaningless or semi-meaningless letters, then I agree there are some
that could be done away with, but not that old workhorse "etc."

Anyway, I agree with Hilary's post... use etc. when the rest of the list
is obvious, and never when it's not.

Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Dept. of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, OK, USA

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