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ACRONYMS – why do we use them?


Helene Kinsler Construction Management, Defence, Design Engineering...

Do you know your PSR’s from your PSL’s?

With MPs recently asking the MOD to cut down on all the acronyms they use, (they have 370 A4 pages to wade through) we have to question whether we are all doing text speak on a daily basis, throughout our job roles. This is certainly true within the Engineering sector, where shorthand codes are extensive.

Now text speak is easy, and nearly everyone uses it. Such as ASAP; LOL; TTFN; but it seems that it has crossed the boundary to our professional lives too. Within databases we can see the acronym of KIT (Keep in Touch), and policies and procedures also can have ACoP (approved code of practice); some acronyms within the engineering sector have CAD (computer aided design); BSI (British Standard Institute); QS (Quantity Surveyor); ECUK (Engineering Council United Kingdom) and more.
And don’t forget; as one of my colleagues suggested; DNA (National Association of Dyslexia).  LOL.

So why do we use acronyms so much? Is it just that we can’t be bothered, or is it that the original word is too long or outdated. One possible reason is that our current lifestyles place some importance on being fast, so acronyms help us do that. Patience is slowly becoming a virtue fading away. Using acronyms, and abbreviations makes us faster, but can also create some confusion in our messages, particularly as the same acronyms can have a different meaning eg LOL could be “laugh out loud” or “lots of love”; TBH is “to be honest” or “to be heard”. There are probably several more out there, too many to mention.  I’ll finish this blog with a couple of sentences containing everyday acronyms that are used within the workplace as well as personal lives, just to see if it has made anything anymore clearer. (Clear as mud me thinks).

TMI can turn your head, and give you much to think about. OTOH, not enough can impede your professional development. ATM I am flummoxed with some of the acronyms and sometimes switch off or give the answer as IDK, of simply SMH.

So, TY for now, and maybe I will TTYL. I have other important stuff to do PDQ. If you would like to make a comment on this blog; then please feel free or if you have any more acronyms, that drive you mad let me know.

Do you know, or can you guess what these acronyms stand for!! All are taken from the 370 pages of the MOD Acronym. Answers upon request


Acknowledgements: BBC News (13/08/18); Internet, Culture and use of Acronyms; MOD Acronyms