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Thread: Acronym Management 101

  1. #1
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    Acronym Management 101

    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    2) Was there observational evidence and physical scientific logic for the hairless BH hypothesis?
    "Hairless BH?" Does BH stand for Body Hair? How about Bohemian Hairless? Perhaps Borderline Hypothesis? Bad Hairspray? Body Hair? Barrier Hair?

    I've lived in acronym city for nearly 20 years, and am usually quite good at nailing acronyms given the context in which they're used.

    Barry Heilburg? Bottom Hair? Beer Hurl?

    But I haven't a clue as to what "BH" stands for.

    I even did a Wikipedia search on "BH" on it's article on Quasars, and couldn't find the "BH" acronym anywhere.

    Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Niets. Rien. Nichts. Τίποτα. Niente. 何も. 아무것. Ничего.

    You know why that is?

    Because the OP was SLOPPY in his/her OP, and failed to spell out their acronyms before posting the acronyms, that's why.

    Take for example, the concept of "top dead center," or TDC (the immediately preceding words are an example of how to do it right - please take notice) as it's commonly referred to throughout the world of auto engine mechanics. It refers to the position of the crankshaft when the #1 piston reaches it's highest point. That's top dead center, a point in the rotation of the crankshaft where this happens, and it's actually marked on the crankshaft so that mechanics can use what's called a timing light to observe the advance/retard behavior of either a distributor cap or electronic timing functions through various revolutions per minute (RPM) regimes of the engine.

    Hey! There's another one: "revolutions per minute (RPM)." (another example of how it should be done)

    Key point: Spell it out, first, then put it's acronym in parentheses. Feel free to use it in it's acronym format after that.

    Unless you do that, others will, quite possibly, not know what you're talking about, regardless of their IQs, levels of education, or areas of education.

    It's not about snobbishness. It's about communication. It's simply the polite thing to do, such as taking a moment and holding the door open for someone immediately behind you.

    So do it! Spell out your acronyms in your posts. Once you've done that, feel free to post your acronyms in that post (and in that post only) to your heart's content.

    If you start a different thread, please assume that others have not read your first thread and take the time to do the same!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    "Hairless BH?" Does BH stand for Body Hair? How about Bohemian Hairless? Perhaps Borderline Hypothesis? Bad Hairspray? Body Hair? Barrier Hair?
    Black Hole.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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    Uhh... BH = Black Hole?


    I often wonder when I see the ones commonly used like AIFK or FWIW etc...

    IIRC is another.
    FWIW =FOr what it's worth- IIRC = If I recall correctly. I'm guessing but those make sense...
    AIFK? I have no idea what that one is. I have seen others and more obscure ones too.


    Most reporters do what you suggested. They initially spell out the acronym. Then use the acronym only later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Uhh... BH = Black Hole?
    Yup, see above. I agree it's a good idea to spell out acronyms, though to be fair, the first sentence in William's post refers to "Black Hole." And, if you aren't sure what something means in a thread, it doesn't hurt to ask for clarification in the thread.

    AIFK? I have no idea what that one is. I have seen others and more obscure ones too.
    You sure that isn't AFAIK (As Far As I Know)?

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    You sure that isn't AFAIK (As Far As I Know)?
    Click*

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    I'd like to change my original post (OP) to read:

    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    2) Was there observational evidence and physical scientific logic for the hairless BH hypothesis?
    "Hairless BH?" Does BH stand for Body Hair? How about Bohemian Hairless? Perhaps Borderline Hypothesis? Bad Hairspray? Body Hair? Barrier Hair?

    I've lived in acronym city for nearly 20 years, and am usually quite good at nailing acronyms given the context in which they're used.

    Barry Heilburg? Bottom Hair? Beer Hurl?

    I haven't a clue as to what "BH" stands for.

    I even did a Wikipedia search on "BH" on it's article on Quasars, and couldn't find the "BH" acronym anywhere.

    Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Niets. Rien. Nichts. Τίποτα. Niente. 何も. 아무것. Ничего.

    You know why that is?

    Because the OP was SLOPPY in his/her OP, and failed to spell out their acronyms before posting the acronyms, that's why!

    Take for example, the concept of "top dead center," or TDC (the immediately preceding words are an example - please take notice) as it's commonly referred to throughout the world of auto engine mechanics. It refers to the position of the crankshaft when the #1 piston reaches it's highest point. That's top dead center, a point in the rotation of the crankshaft where this happens, and it's actually marked on the crankshaft so that mechanics can use what's called a timing light to observe the advance/retard behavior of either a distributor cap or electronic timing functions through various revolutions per minute (RPM) regimes of the engine.

    Hey! There's another one: "revolutions per minute (RPM)." (another example of how it should be done)

    Key point: Spell it out, first, then put it's acronym in parentheses. Feel free to use it in it's acronym format after that.

    Unless you do that, others will, quite possibly, not know what in the world you're talking about, regardless of their IQs, levels of education, or areas of education.

    It's not about snobbishness. It's about communication. It's simply the polite thing to do, such as taking a moment and holding the door open for someone immediately behind you.

    So do it! Spell out your acronyms in your posts. Once you've done that, feel free to post your acronyms in that post (and in that post only) to your heart's content.

    If you start a different thread, please assume that others have not read your first thread and take the time to do the same!

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    Hey, like I said, I live in acronym soup, as in wtfist

    But I reiterate that it's simply both polite posting and decent writer skills to spell it out first, before posting or being asked, wtdtm?

    These are acronyms that cannot be translated on this board due to the board rules. However, I hope everyone gets my drift: In EACH post, spell out your acronyms FIRST, then put them in parentheses immediately afterwards, and feel free to use them after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    Hey, like I said, I live in acronym soup, as in wtfist

    But I reiterate that it's simply both polite posting and decent writer skills to spell it out first, before posting or being asked, wtdtm?

    These are acronyms that cannot be translated on this board due to the board rules. However, I hope everyone gets my drift: In EACH post, spell out your acronyms FIRST, then put them in parentheses immediately afterwards, and feel free to use them after that.
    Is that like RTFQ?

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    I do a lot of technical writing and acronyms abound. Mugs has it right - spell it out first.

    Most of them, anyway. I think we all know what IQ stands for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I do a lot of technical writing and acronyms abound. Mugs has it right - spell it out first.

    Most of them, anyway. I think we all know what IQ stands for.
    I agree mugaliens. Good post.

    As for IQ, often one understand what it means but not necessarily what it actually stands for, e.g. ibid, nb, AM, PM, OK, AD, CV, p.s. etc.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Veeger View Post
    As for IQ, often one understand what it means but not necessarily what it actually stands for, e.g. ibid, nb, AM, PM, OK, AD, CV, p.s. etc.

    I think you have that backwards. It's clear what the acronym IQ stands for (intelligence quotient), but what it means is the subject of many a debate.

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    One of my favorites is "TLA"--in the government, TLAs get used all the time, for example, "TLA" is one. It is funniest when people who foreswear swearing, use acronyms with swearwords in them, not knowing how they expand, but just following usage they've heard around the place. I remember a woman who used "TU" a lot, and was embarrassed when she found out what it meant, being of feminist bent and sensitive to references to body parts that are presumably female given the semi-rowdy group of men she learned "TU" from. SOL, SNAFU, FUBAR are stronger examples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdvance View Post
    SOL, SNAFU, FUBAR are stronger examples.
    Urban Dictionary, though it doesn't have BH yet, so the OP couldn't've found it there.

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    I've maintained for some time that what we need is a sticky (no! not another one!) of frequently-used acronyms. Because, frankly, there are some that aren't going to get spelled out in every post as Mugaliens suggests. "ATM"? Even though we all use it in at least two contexts, even just around here, we will continue to expect people to know when we mean "Against the Mainstream" or "Automatic Teller Machine."

    Now, I don't use "IIRC." Or even "BTW," much. "AFAIK"? Not a chance. But I don't think we're ever going to stop people from using them without spelling them out in advance, and with common ones--and, you know, "BH" is one of them, at least around here--I don't think we should have to. I'm perfectly willing to work on the list. If we ever get a board wiki up, as some other boards have, I'd even put in the effort to keep it in alphabetical order, which it really should be. There are even a few threads buried around here with board-specific acronyms; I think I started one myself. But this is the world the internet has created for us, I'm afraid. That's why I think a sticky would help--stickies are the tools boards use to provide needed information, and a glossary would often help.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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    Aw, shucks! I've been waiting all morning for Gillianren to swoop in and explain the difference between acronyms and abbreviations, maybe even initializations. I guess I'm a splitter and not a lumper after all (old taxonomy joke).

    As a former federal and now a state employee, I agree wholeheartedly with this acrimonious attitude towards acronyms and abbreviations. The ones that really get my goat aren't the scientific ones, but rather the Internet shorthand notations like AFAIK, IIRC, GR8, IMHO, ROFLMAO et cetera. Guess I'm getting old.

    Yours in abbreviations,
    ABR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I've maintained for some time that what we need is a sticky (no! not another one!) of frequently-used acronyms. Because, frankly, there are some that aren't going to get spelled out in every post as Mugaliens suggests. "ATM"? Even though we all use it in at least two contexts, even just around here, we will continue to expect people to know when we mean "Against the Mainstream" or "Automatic Teller Machine."
    make that three then--I didn't think of Automatic Teller Machine, but Amateur Telescope Making.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdvance View Post
    One of my favorites is "TLA"
    My second favorite is ETLA.

    (For others, those are "Three (or Two) Letter Acronym" and "Extended Three Letter Acronym.")

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

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    Do I have to forget yet another rule I learned back when the Army sent me to writing school? They taught me about the two kinds of initialisms; abbreviations and acronyms. Abbreviations are pronounced as individual letters (AFAIK); acronyms as words (NASA, AIDS) and are always written in all caps. Some acronyms become words and then are written lower case (radar). When did the rules change? Someday I might decide to go back to work (fat chance) and I'd hate to make a gaffe!

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    AFAIK the rules are as you remember them. Youngsters do tend to play fast and loose with them though!

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    The post that mugaliens complains about not defining "BH"
    does in fact define "BH" in the very first line:
    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Physically what is the Quasars’ Massive Compact Object?

    Theoretical Black Hole Vs Real Universe Physical Massive Object?

    1) What are your thoughts concerning the questions that Abhas Mitra
    poses in his short conference paper?

    2) Was there observational evidence and physical scientific logic
    for the hairless BH hypothesis?
    He just didn't put the words "black hole" and the abbreviation "BH"
    together in one sentence.

    I have seen the abbreviation "BH" used for "black hole" on BAUT
    so many times that I, myself, have used it several times, despite
    my resistance to using abbreviations. A Google search of BAUT
    turned up about 1500 pages containing "BH". Looking just at the
    short snippets supplied by Google of the first 20 hits clearly
    shows that every one of them refers to black holes. Just those
    few words was enough, in every single case I looked at.

    The line "A black hole has no hair" is so familiar from 'A Brief
    History of Time'
    and other writings about black holes that I
    find it unbelieveable that mugalins didn't recognize it as it was
    used in the post he complained about.

    Furthermore, that post used two other abbreviations and acronyms,
    "MECO" and "GCR", both of which were defined in the way mugaliens
    requests, either immediately or within a few lines.

    I completely agree with the desire to define abbreviations and
    acronyms when introduced, but the post which irked mugaliens was
    not significantly faulty in that regard.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    TLA - Three Letter Acronyms. And yes, it is one, itself.

    This is one of my pet peeves - especially after spending a few years with perhaps, the greatest wholesale manufacturer of TLA's, International Business Machines, Inc. I would drive people crazy by asking them what the TLA's stood for. It turns out, in that culture, people really remembered the expansion.

    English is just a rich and powerful language. I suggest that people limit acronyms and abbreviations to the most well known.

    FIGHT NEWSPEAK!

    Nice to see this topic!

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    Re: Acronym Management 101

    Quote Originally Posted by tdvance View Post
    [edit]I remember a woman who used "TU" a lot, and was embarrassed when she found out what it meant, being of feminist bent and sensitive to references to body parts that are presumably female given the semi-rowdy group of men she learned "TU" from....
    Bet she had a rather "uniform"ly disapproving response.

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    When the list of acronyms and abbreviations is made, remember that IMHO is an abbreviation for "in my opinion as the ultimate source of value judgments everywhere"
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

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    Hairless Elf

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong? -- Van Rijn

    H E ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graybeard6 View Post
    Do I have to forget yet another rule I learned back when the Army sent me to writing school? They taught me about the two kinds of initialisms; abbreviations and acronyms. Abbreviations are pronounced as individual letters (AFAIK); acronyms as words (NASA, AIDS) and are always written in all caps. Some acronyms become words and then are written lower case (radar). When did the rules change? Someday I might decide to go back to work (fat chance) and I'd hate to make a gaffe!
    So to be correctly self-referential (CSR?), TLA would have to stand for "Three Letter Abbreviation". However, the mythical "everybody" thinks of it both as "Three Letter Acronym" and "self-referential".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanamonde View Post
    TLA - Three Letter Acronyms. And yes, it is one, itself.
    The TLA 'TLA' is intended to be one. It's why it's some descriptor usually misidentified as irony.

    It's also why FLA (Four Letter Acronym) really never had currency, but ETLA (Extended Three Letter Acronym) does.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    The funny thing is that I explained "acronym" versus "abbreviation" face-to-face yesterday and totally missed it here. Sigh. Everyone screws up sometimes, kids.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    The funny thing is that I explained "acronym" versus "abbreviation" face-to-face yesterday and totally missed it here. Sigh. Everyone screws up sometimes, kids.
    Now my whole world-view is shattered. Obviously TEOTWAWKI

    Look I used a EEEEEETLA!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptain K View Post
    AFAIK the rules are as you remember them. Youngsters do tend to play fast and loose with them though!
    I like the cell-phone commercial where the two kids are talking in common (and not-so common) text acronyms, then the grandma chimes in with 'em too.

    I tend to use forum-related ones often, I just assumed most people on these forums had been around forums long enough to know them: AFAIK, OP, IIRC, and WRT are the ones I use most. Also, on this particular forum, I use the BAUT-Context ones (HB, CT, etc). Most other things I'll spell out every time (because I'm stubborn), or Will Refer to Them With the Acronym In Parentheses First (WRTWAIPF) before I start using the shortened version.

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