I don’t know if it’s because of sheer laziness or technology but acronyms are all over the place. It creates so much confusion. At work there are so many used and the assumption usually is that everyone knows what the acronyms mean. Most of the time people don’t and they are too afraid to ask because they don’t want to seem uninformed. I understand that feeling because usually depending on the context of the discussion, the acronym can change.
Let me give you an example.
The other day I was watching ESPN and they were giving statistics about two teams and their history whenever they met up. On one of the records they talked about how someone had a GW point. I sat there in total confusion because usually when I use GW as an acronym, it refers to the George Washington bridge. But George Washington point?? Huh?? I had to think about what I was watching and I realized it referred to the ‘Game Winning’ point.
Another example of the acronym based on context is when I first started on my old project. I was getting introduced to the project and someone said CPR. I sat there wondering what the heck Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation had to do with my project. I didn’t say anything because I knew I was missing something. As I read some information about the scope of the project, I realized one of the products we were verifying was Compliance Product Reporting…hence CPR. But you can imagine my facial expression when I heard this. I felt like I didn’t have enough coffee or that I was somehow having some surreal dream.
I know it seems silly that I am even bringing this stuff up. Unless you use an explanation before or after you use an acronym, it might be good to not assume people understand. I know I should be doing the work and putting two and two together. But I find that more and more people have the same confusion I do. So am I in the majority or in the minority?