OMG, Stop using abbreviations!

April 29, 2014 Tami Reiss

This past weekend, my sister sent me a text message that she was in “CH”. I assumed this meant Clinton Hill (a popular neighborhood in Brooklyn). In fact, she meant Crown Heights (a different neighborhood in Brooklyn which is not on the same train lines as Clinton Hill).

It inspired me to write this post against abbreviations, which I’ve discovered there’s a number of dictionaries available to help translate. They make me think… Really? Whole sites dedicated to deciphering cryptic codes used as an attempt for internal efficiency?

Too often, an abbreviation, which is intended to help, actually causes a problem.
Here’s a list of negative impacts I think they create:

  • People misunderstand you (see above)
  • New employees feel alienated
  • Readers get confused and frustrated

Obviously, this post won’t end the use of abbreviations at Pivotal or anywhere else. I hope that when they get used, that someone makes sure to define whatever two, three, or four letter code is meant at the time.

What abbreviation will you stop using?

About the Author


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