Use of acronyms (was RE:

Date: Tue Oct 23 2007 - 08:16:41 CDT

  • Next message: Marion Gunn: "Re: Use of acronyms (was RE:"

    Philippe Verdy wrote:

    > "FWIW". What does this mean? Please avoid such non trivial abbreviations
    > (they are even less trivial or non-native English readers,

    I do not doubt the difficulty that such acronyms give non-native English
    readers, but think about this: even native readers of English can't guess
    these, so the difficulty for them is not significantly less than for
    non-native readers.

    Face it: everyone who knows what "FWIW" means had to look it up or be told
    at some point -- you're no different from anyone else in this regard.

    > I'm fed up of seeing more and more unexplained acronyms appearing
    > in some message and SMS-like "language" in mailing lists;

    Sorry, but you're out of luck: The world today is full of such -- (Even
    you use acronyms: "SMS") -- and you're not going to convince the world to
    stop using them.

    You'd be far better off to get over your grudge, find a good reference,
    and start learning.

    > I do really hate the SMS language,

    FWIW, the particular acronym you questioned has been around long before
    SMS. I remember seeing it used in the 70's on usenet.

    >and probably, many native English readers too.

    You hate many English speakers? Sorry to hear that (no, I really knew what
    you meant -- just teasing a little ;-)

    > You are
    > forcing them to look for their definitions elsewhere, and decipher what
    > mean, and many be this acronym has several unrelated meanings,or may be
    > offensive in some interpretations.

    I'm a native English speaker in my 50s and I *still* have to do this
    regularly -- both for English words and acronyms. Just learned "barista"
    recently, for example (surprising, given my love of good coffee!). Online
    dictionaries and acronym finders are one of the top hits on my browser
    favorites list.


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