Using a LETTER/S as an abbreviation

Thanks for your thoughts Anna which I find interesting.

I find every topic of interest until, as you say, the topic becomes of no interest, either because it does not float my boat or perhaps the thread “drift” has gone so far off topic that it has disappeared out of sight and over the horizon although I do find these tangents rather amusing.

How will I know if learning things will never be of any use to me?
I made that error of judgement many years ago at school when deciding that learning French was a total waste of time!

I have no doubt that posters will continue to use acronyms as is their right but perhaps a little more thought before using the more obscure abbreviations would not go a miss.

On the other hand, as I just proved to myself in my post above, interrupting the flow of a post to explain every acronym that crops up isn’t ideal either.

Can we agree that it all comes down to context? If a thread has got quite complex, and you know that the person you are having the dialogue will understand perfectly well, then feeling you have to digress to explain every passing acronym for the sake of other readers who may not be familiar with them, will make the post a lot harder to write and probably a lot harder to follow for the person you are having the dialogue with.
By the same token, when responding to posts asking basic questions on a certain topic, I think most of us instinctively take the time to explain eg what CPAM is or what a CdS is when we mention it for the first time in the thread.
I suppose it come down to what you think the forum is for. Should discussions revert to private messages when they get too specialised for general consumption? I don’t think that’s how a forum should operate. IMHO (in my humble opinion) one of the valuable things about forums is that they are a way of sharing information within the community. Contributing knowledge that you happen to have acquired, and also your own interpretation and personal views, is a good and constructive thing to do. We all learn by pooling information, knowledge and thoughts. Sometimes I ask questions and get answers, sometimes I try to answer questions, soemtimes I post something in good faith and another poster contradicts me and it turns out I was wrong, and I’ve learned something. Whereas, taking it outside risks turning individuals into unpaid one-to-one advisors, which is a completely different thing and not a thing I would do. It has no benefit to the community, and also, it becomes a personal responsibility because if the person’s understanding is wrong then there is no-one else to jump in and set them right.


Yes I can agree. However I would like to make the point that IMO you may well be having dialogue with an individual but in reality you know that your dialogue is with, and for the benefit of, the entire membership of the forum. As you have said “Should discussions revert to private messages when they get too specialised for general consumption” No, definitely not, I agree that is not how a forum should operate.

Well - sometimes yes, sometimes no.
For instance after being barely active on this forum for several weeks if not months, for no particular reason other than I’ve been busy, I popped back this morning because I had a notification in my inbox of a new post on a thread I had contributed to previously. So I’ve contributed to 3 threads this morning: this one, that I would agree is for the entire membership if they are interested because it’s very general discussion topic where everyone’s opinion is as good as anyone else’s; a thread about motorway doofahs that is basically a matter of clarification, there isn’t a lot to discuss and it will interest some members but not others; and the specific thread I had the notification about, which I think is unlikely to be of any great interest to anyone who is not in that situation or who doesn’t happen to have first-hand experience of that particular area, which probably excludes many if not most forum members. So on that thread, I can’t say I felt that the dialogue was with, or for the benefit of, the entire membership. I don’t see how retired or early retired forum members, for instance, who I would guess make up the majority of membership, could benefit in the least from knowing the technical process that UK firms have to follow if they want to employ a worker in France, so I don’t expect many of them to be reading the thread and scratching their heads.

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Personally, I do not open a thread which does not interest me. I may open a catchy “remark/post” on an erstwhile passed-over thread or maybe not.

However, if someone in my circle asks me something to which I do not know the answer - then, I will look on the forum and open a previously unread thread. At that point, I read the thread from top to bottom and it (usually) makes sense, acronyms and all.

But, when some of the Adults are busy swapping acronyms about with gay abandon - I generally leave them to it … :joy::upside_down_face:

Glad to see you back, Anna. A friend is asking me about becoming a ME (or whatever). I’ll ask her what she is actually hoping to do, I’ll do a Search, post her queries or open a thread. I know you have all the info …:hugs:

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“Asbo” always infuriated me when I was in the newspaper business and came across it all the time. Antisocial is one word, so the acronym should be “Abo”. No one seemed to share my outrage and I had to fume away to myself.


Sometimes it helps to let the acronym “float overhead” rather like some French conversations… as things progress the general understanding becomes clearer… works for me, anyway… :hugs::joy:

I have my own snarl-inducing ‘favourite hate’ capitalised abbreviation: NICE.

If you don’t know what it stands for, don’t bother finding out.

It stinks to me of Tory pseudo-competitiveness and ‘aspiration’, or FYIAR or FYIA depending whether you think ‘all right’ is one word or two.