Friday, September 7, 2012

Trouble with acronyms: a fictitious story


Steve saw Kay write it on the bottom of the note. It wasn’t much; just two letters.
Steve: What does this mean?
Kay: I saw it.
S: Yes, but what does it mean?
K: What? It means I saw the note.
S: What does the note have to do with Kilo Octet.
K: It doesn’t.
S: It isn’t about football! There’s no reason to mention Kelly Orton.
K: I didn’t.
S: Or the Kick off if you’re not talking about football.
K: Okay.
S: Are you Egyptian?
K: What?
S: You’re referring to Kemetic Orthodoxy?
K: No.
S: Did you attend Keystone Oaks High in Pennsylvania?
K: I visited Gettysburg once.
S: Are you buying stock in Coca-Cola?
K: Not today.
S: Knight Officer, Knight Online, Knock Out & Knowledge Object don’t make sense either.
K: What are you talking about?
S: You wrote KO.
K: Yes.
S: Why?
K: I acknowledged that I saw the note.
S: But what does it mean?
K: Those are my initials.
S: Oh.
The trouble with acronyms is twofold: acronyms are exclusive language, excluding many from the meaning. Acronyms are not clearly understood even by close associates as in our example.
The best practice is to say what you mean and write out the words: name the organization, spell out the technical term or provide a point of reference so that the information is complete for all who may read it.
To view the current level of ridiculous go to: http://www.acronymfinder.com

6 comments:

Joshua said...

Sounds similar to a conversation I overheard here in the office, except someone asked what "KO" meant, and the other person said they were dyslexic and wrote it backwards. Awkward.

Kate OMara said...

Love it! Thanks for the laugh Joshua! Can I use that in the future?? of course, I'll add your credit in the footnote. Haha!

Joshua said...

It's all yours.

Kate OMara said...

Sweet! ;)

Joanne said...

funny and also food for thought.

Kate OMara said...

Thanks Joanne That's what I hope for! Fun & Thoughts which usually turn into funny thoughts.