I will be the first to admit that when it comes to grammar, syntax, and punctuation I have much to learn. If it were not for all the papers I had to write in library school, my professional writing skills would be virtually non-existence. As someone who struggles with writing, I am a big admirer of the written word. So imagine my dismay at the number of articles I have come across filled with so many abbreviations, acronyms, and text messaging speech they are almost cryptic. While I realize some abbreviations and other notations have become so common place that explanations may not be needed, others are not so apparent. Back in the “olden” days, notations were explained to educate the reader as to what they meant. Unfortunately this practice has just about been abandoned.
Case in point, I attended a webinar a few months ago and a few of the slides contained the acronym SOB*, pronounced ‘S-O-B’ by the presenter. Every time she used the acronym I cringed as visions of soap and mouth washing floated in my head. One would think I would have figured out the meaning within the context of the presentation but I did not. I guess I wasn’t the only one clueless because someone (who was brave enough to admit ignorance) finally asked what the acronym stood for. Answer: Specific Observable Behaviors. Hmmm…does one infer the other? Kidding aside, all this conjecture could have been avoided if the presenter had just clarified the acronym in the beginning. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to this growing trend but keep an acronym and text lingo dictionary handy. You are probably going to need it.
*Researching possible meanings is left to the reader.
In NE Library