Abbreviations – a useful shortcut, or just plain irritating?

23rd July 2019

Abbreviations are everywhere…

Meetings end with AOB. Emails start with FYI.

I might have a TC with my MD, where we’ll discuss KPIs and JVs. We’ll end with a Q&A, if we haven’t covered everything on our FAQ. All being well, we’ll end with getting a PO.

And these abbreviations continue when we get home…

We watch BBC on the TV. Or a DVD, watching a film by MGM…

So are they useful or irritating?

Well, if people know what your abbreviation stands for, they’re useful. After all, nobody in the history of the world has ever said "last night, I saw a Digital Versatile Disc."

But when they don’t know what your abbreviations stand for, they’re just irritating. Irrelevant, untailored jargon.

We all know this. And therefore of course none of us would ever put jargon-y abbreviations in a communication, would we?

Well, somebody does! We can’t all not be responsible for this thing that many people do. So…

Action Point

… Review your most recent comms to someone you wanted to impress – your boss, a customer, and so on. And if you see some abbreviations they won’t understand, remove them next time. Or they might just think it sounds like BS!

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