Re: acronyms

From: Iain Strachan (
Date: Fri Sep 26 2003 - 14:28:26 EDT

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    Might I suggest as a means to produced a better tempered debate, that if you don't know what an acronym means, that you reply **OFF-LIST** to the original sender asking her/him to explain what the acronyms mean. This means we don't get into tedious discussions about whether to use acronyms and whether to explain them, and the rest of us don't have to put up with emails from people asking about acronyms that many of us know already.

    I for one don't think it's reasonable that every time you use a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) that you have to explain it in brackets over the first use. Much better that people who don't know them politely ask the originator privately what they mean. That way everyone gets up to speed reasonably quickly.

    TTFN. (If you want an explanation of this one, email me privately).

     Iain .G.D. Strachan

    There are 10 types of people in the world ...
    those who understand binary and those who don't.

      ----- Original Message -----
      To: George Murphy ; Jan de Koning
      Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2003 9:22 PM
      Subject: Re: acronyms

      Being HN (hard-nosed) myself, I have and will continue to FA (follow after) Jan de Koning - deleting the acronym-filled unintelligible emails. Intentionally posting emails that are unreadable because of OUAWE (over-usage of acronyms without explanation) is rude ATVL (at the very least).

      Please reconsider. Not everyone has been in this group for years. This is my first exposure to the terms YEC (young earth creationism) vs OEC (old earth creationism). I knew nothing about ID (intelligent design) or IC (still trying to remember that one). As a Christian geologist, the information has been extremely helpful . . . when I understand the acronyms, OC (of course). I haven't even tried the robust whatever economic thing because, sheesh, no one ever bothered to explain that one and it was too exhausting.

      I do have a strong desire to understand the emails but, without some explanation, and occasional reminding I rarely understand no matter how hard I try.


      George Murphy <> wrote:
        Jan de Koning wrote:
    > Thank you, Sheila.
    > Despite my previous requests, we still get many postings with acronyms
    > unexplained. I have taken the view that, if acronyms are not explained,
    > they are not intended for me, and therefor they are often deleted before
    > reading the whole posting. I warned in the past that I would be forced to
    > do so. In a book or an article, even if they are scientific, acronyms are
    > explained. If it takes too long to do so, it is obviously not intended for
    > everyone....................
        I'm afraid I'm going to be hard-nosed about this. A listserv is not a scholarly
        book or article but a quite different medium. It is much more conversational.
        Moreover, one like the asa list is intended for people who have some familiarity with
        the subject. Expecting everyone who uses YEC to ! explain that it means "Young earth
        creationism [or creationist]" in every post is like expecting a physicist to explain at
        the beginning of a paper that c is the speed of light. & scanning through a post before
        sending it, noting all the acronyms I've used (some of them unconsciously) & then
        explaining each, destroys their purpose, which is abbreviation.

        Having said that, I think it's reasonable to have a resource that people can
        easily consult to find frequently used acronyms and abbreviations. & having looked it
        over once, it shouldn't be hard to remember or call up relevant ones.

        & often you can figure out acronymns or abbreviations from context: In a
        discussion of cosmology it isn't hard to guess that BB means big bang. & sometimes you
        can work around them - as I often do with a German word I don't know instead of opening
        the dictionary. Of course you can miss things that way, but you usually don't have to get 100% of the words in a message to understand it.


        George L. Murphy

      Sheila McGinty Wilson

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