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ACRONYMS: Could we use them less and more responsibly?


Perhaps I'm not the only Chowhounder who finds acronyms overused and abused? I can remember many times a (new?), Chowhounder asking, "What does OP mean?" I'm not suggesting that we stop using "OP", but these questions suggest that there are confused newbies, neophytes or unhip, out of step Chowhounders out there. I constantly leave “Acronym Finder” open in my browser to help me understand posts. I admit I'm an old fart. Right now, I'm having enough trouble learning Spanish, as a second language.

So, is it just me? Am I the only curmudgeon on Chowhound slowed down by them? I think if you start using obscure and specialized acronyms you should at least state what they mean (in parentheses), the first time you use them in the thread. I was a busboy at 16. The food industry lingo means little to me, so FOH, BOH, MP and other restaurant acronyms are often difficult for some of us to decipher. I've heard others ask.... I have enough trouble remembering RDA and BYOB. Many acronyms have multiple, common meanings. I would appreciate New Englanders, who use only "NH" in the title of a post, to consider that I immediately think of "New Haven"! It is in New England, just as New Hampshire is. There are more search results for NH "New Haven" than there are for NH "New Hampshire".

My acronym anxiety is compounded by two things:
One: Chowhound has graciously given us an expandable box to write in (which I really appreciate, when I get longwinded), but they don't allow for any expression (like italics), with text. If you want to be more expressive you have to SHOUT! A lot of emphatic words in caps, (and sometimes inappropriate emphasis), mixed in with strange capitalized acronyms and abbreviated words, often make my mental gears jam.
Two: People choose weird Chowhound names, which often appear as acronyms. Chowhounders, unable to cope with weird ciphers, long or unspellable, farcical names, often create their own abbreviated nicknames, when they address the Chowhounder. That can really start to confuse things when it's mixed into a sentence containing acronyms and/or other abbreviations. I am guilty of doing this because I can't remember, or don't want to remember and type in, a long, bizarre name. Think about your Chowhound name. Would you name your child that? Think of how they would be ridiculed in school and their name shortened to a workable nickname. Also, remember, I confuse easily.

I do not text message (TM), (or, is that "trade mark" or "time management"?). I don't ever intend to. I have built my last two computers but perhaps I am a luddite about this. I N V U (in my humble opinion), is not appropriate on Chowhound. I think, given the limited Chowhound writing format, it is a poor place to use text messaging lingo. You are supposed to use teeny-tiny keypads on cell phones for that, when you are illicitly communicating in class! I like it when Chowhounders are more "conversational".

Do you think we could try and limit ourselves to a few acronyms like DH, DW, OK and SO, so there's less ambiguity and mystification? There is a lot of confusion about what DH is! I think it primarily means "husband". You might also be calling him stupid.... Could we use the fancy ones with an explanation of what they stand for? Is this (and me), a hopeless cause? Would there be a place for a sentence in the etiquette area about this?

  1. Bravo Scargod. Very entertaining, amusing and spot-on. I am with you 100%.

    1. I totally agree. But, I have to ask... do you have a kid named Scargod? JK (just kidding). I have stared at acronyms way longer than I should admit to. Sometimes, I can figure them out in context, and I kind of look at them as a brain teaser exercise. There was one awhile back that stumped me. Someone wrote "The last TWP pizzas I ordered from there were crap" (paraphrased). I went through a lot of iterations in my head, then finally hung my head in shame and typed the embarrassed reply "what is TWP?" Another CH'er replied to me "I think they meant TWO". (As in 2). Well, hell.

      Where is Acronym Finder? I've never heard of that.

      2 Replies
      1. re: stephanieh

        Never heard of AF? OMG! LOL.

        1. re: stephanieh

          His name is Robogod.
          Also, another good one is Urban Dictionary. This is good for deciphering what the younger people are saying: http://www.urbandictionary.com/

          BTW, whenever something looks funny...(meaning odd or wrong), I always look at my keyboard and see what letters are on the perimeter of the letter that is in question. Another common mistake is transposing letters like thsi (this). I do it when I get in a hurry.

        2. The meaning of many of the acronyms that you mention is not critical. In most cases it doesn't matter who DW or DW or SO refers to. OP as in Original Post(er) is occasionally useful, such as when a thread drifts on to a tangent. Note for example that there is the option at the bottom of this page to reply to the 'original post'. Usually if I don't understand an acronym I just ignore it.

          Acronyms are quite useful in the subject lines of regional posts. Often those are based on airport designations. For example in Pacific NW threads it helps to know whether the question is about Portland (PDX) or Seattle/Tacoma (SEA), or some other town or subregion.

          As far as I am concerned people can use any chow name they choose. 'Scargod' is not better or worse than 'small h' or 'paulj' or one of the long names. If including the name in your text might create confusion, quote it or use some other punctuation to set it apart.

          1. Scargod, while you are at it, could you tell me what DH, DW, and OK are? My thoughts exactly with all you said. Maybe I should ask what each acronym is for each person who uses it, but who has that time?!

            1 Reply
            1. re: jacquelines

              Since Scargod didn't answer your query - I'll oblige.
              DH = Dear (or Darling) Husband
              DW = Dear (or Darling Wife) or as The Ranger likes to say, "SWMBO" (She Who Must Be Obeyed)
              OK is the abbreviation for Oklahoma.... J/K (Just Kidding) In this case it probably just means OK.. as in Oh Kay! LOL

            2. i confess, i've noticed my acronym use increasing lately..and sometimes i hesitate before doing it because i wonder if someone is going to be scratching their head wondering what the heck WFM stands for. [it's Whole Foods Market, BTW]. i really just do it out of laziness, but yes, i can be confusing to others. the first few times i saw DH & DW on CH, i had no idea what they were - i assumed DW was dishwasher, which made no sense in the context of some posts...so i googled the acronyms & found out what they meant. and i was really perplexed by ETA for a while - what does "estimated time of arrival" have to do with this post?! i eventually figured out it meant "edited to add." OP was another one that took me a few reads to get. and i know there are more, but i'm too tired to think of them right now.

              i think Scargod was on to something with his question about addressing this in the etiquette section - perhaps we should compose a CH acronym guide that the mods could post somewhere on the site...?

              1 Reply
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I've never bothered to look up acronyms like this, instead depending on context. Even if there was a table, I wouldn't count on everyone following it.

                If the thread is about dishwashers, then DW might mean that. On the other hand if some one writes 'DW does not like to spicy food', or 'DW is afraid of heights' (on an RV forum for example), it most likely refers to a wife. There's no special science to deciphering things like that.

                On Chow forums the meaning of WFM, TJs, or 'Whole paycheck' can be picked up from context. On a car forum they probably wouldn't ring any bells. I also like to use nicknames like 'Wallyworld'. Using acronyms and nicknames in writing isn't much different from using them in speech. We don't need a rule book. If someone does not understanding something, they should feel free to ask. This isn't a business or a classroom; for most of us it is purely recreational.

              2. While I can see old fartdom a little ahead, I'm not quite there yet! But I'm old enough that many of the acronyms are new to me. I also am childless, so I'm even further behind on the techno learning curve!

                Sometimes the context helps illuminate it, some I look up, some I'm just not interested enough to decipher it! I suspect we will be seeing this usage increase. Each year will bring younger people who are well versed with texting, and each year us old farts (or close to it) will have picked up more of the lingo and may have even started to use it!

                I do use some of the more common ones. I try, especially if getting long winded about a topic, to use the full phrase and then indicate the shorthand in parenthesis.

                Ultimately, it doesn't really obstruct my following a thread. And sometimes I find my investigation of a new acronym takes me to an interesting tangent!

                1. Could we wipe out EVOO while we're at it? I can't help but hear the rest of the post in a gravelly, shouty, overexcited tv host voice when somebody uses that one . . .

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: operagirl

                    Though I despise everything that Rachael Ray stands for, the EVOO abbreviation is actually a good one I think. It saves quite a bit of typing, and everyone knows what it means.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      EVOO existed long before R.R. (that's, Rachel Ray, of course) rose to stardom--it sure makes it a lot easier to transcribe recipes! I won't stop using it just because she's adopted it!

                      ~TDQ (that's me, The Dairy Queen)

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Yep - I agree - it's a useful acronym.

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          That it's been around longer than RR gives me some degree of comfort. The funny thing is, in her cookbooks (ok, well, the one I've seen at a friend's house) she uses all these acronyms, and then just writes them out in parentheses afterwards! Thus undermining the efficiency-mindedness of the acronyms in the first place.

                          1. re: operagirl

                            actually, RR does that on her show as well. i used to watch the occasional episode of 30 Minute Meals, and every time, she would say "EVOO, extra virgin olive oil."

                            but i agree, it is a useful acronym.

                            as is S&P - that's salt & pepper, not Standard & Poor's ;)

                        2. re: Buckethead

                          I suppose, but at first I was confusing it with GEE, thinking EVOO was the clarified butter of India.
                          Doh! I think I just made myself look stoopid, I mean stupid...SMF STFU

                          1. re: Scargod

                            "SMF STFU"

                            scargod, i cannot believe you just said that!

                            ps (is that one ok -- ooooh, is THAT one ok?) i will *never ever* give you a nickname of endearment here on chow, such as "sca", "scar", "scarg", scargo" or even "sco"!

                            AND for all you smiley-haters: ;-D

                        3. re: operagirl

                          I suppose olive oil should suffice. Extra virgin goes without saying, no?

                        4. There seem to be new languages developing in th text messsage era. Took me a while to determine exactly what ISO mwant. But despite the acronyms, I've always been to figure out the gist of the message. I sorta like OMG and WTF, myself.

                          Reminds me of the era when PCs came along, We quickly learned the mysterious jargon.

                          Yr obd serv (your obedient servant)


                          1. I agree. I propose we institute an effort to wipe out overuse of acronyms. Hey, I know! Any time anyone uses an unnecessary acronym, we could post "WOOOA!" and add the URL of this post. For once and for all we can finally get acronym abusers to STFU and then everything will be OK here on CH.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Chris VR

                              What a great idea Chris! How about using 555190 whenever we are confounded or feel acronym abuse is rampant? Perhaps we could shorten it to AA?

                              I never intended for Chowhound to have a Glossary of foodie/food industry terms and acronyms, or a "registry of acceptable acronyms". Hmmm.. ..
                              What I was thinking might help this situation would be something like this (from "The Powers That Be" at Chowhound):

                              Dear Chowhounders,
                              Please be aware that many here are new to food and/or restaurants. It's scary enough joining a community of heavyweights, without using acronyms and abbreviations that are over their heads! Please state what specialized acronyms mean (in parentheses), the first time you use them in a thread. Also see our Glossary of Commonly Used Acronyms. These have been thoroughly vetted and are considered safe for use and consumption by Chowhound.
                              Please use international airport designations or zip codes in topics to avoid confusion with state abbreviations.
                              Please refrain from using expletives, such as WTF, NFW and KMA. Make it palatable for all. We actually wouldn't allow you to say KMA, in any case). Please do not use text messaging lingo as we have a high proportion of older people on the boards who are confused enough by the site, and computers, as it is. Please refer to topic 555190 for further information.

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  Rotten Florida mayonnaise? LSHIPIMP

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    Large shrimp in my plate?

                                    yes, please!

                                    I always keep my mayo in the fridge, especially in FL. But that is a whole 'nother thread!

                            2. One thing that this forum lacks is a collection of smilies. Forums that use vBulletin have a basic set, and some have rather extensive, custom sets. They can be useful for conveying emotions. They are also easier to standardize than acronymns and abbreviations.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: paulj

                                Blech, ugh. Hate HATE those smilies that litter vBulletin and other forum software. I don't mind a text smilie but there's something about that full set of smilies that makes me want to retch. And then when you get onto the animated smilies... even worse.

                                1. re: Chris VR

                                  and, you say this while cookie monster is smiling at me. That's funny!

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    the difference, of course, is that cookie monster is BADASS.

                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                      see, my kids always thought Oscar was the badass. Given the garbage can accessory...there's still a chow reference...

                              2. OFGS. GWTP.....(~_^)

                                (Oh for goodness sakes. Get with the program. Wink. ) (No turning emoticon)

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Gio

                                  AA! They (acronyms) are like little word games... I enjoy a good puzzle but I do not like crossword puzzles.
                                  I like a smiley face or a sad face once in a while and it is amazing what you can do with a keypad if you work at it. I have often wondered why Chow-hound didn't use vBulletin. They would not have to enable or offer emoticons. They are a conundrum themselves. Don't much care for them.
                                  How about sounds? Screams, foot stomping, slugging sounds, kisses, moans (good, bad and other), coming out of the PC? Mods would love that!
                                  Speaking of Mods, they deleted my first attempt to post this topic. Then another Mod suggested that here, on Site Talk, is the place it should be (instead of "Not About Food), and, if I didn't refer to anyone it would (at least), not be a rant that could be considered directed at anyone. We all know that's a no-no (don't we?). So, I thought this was a funny, tongue-in-cheek piece, where the Mods didn't. I did clean it up a bit...
                                  I have had a lot of fun with it and am glad others have found it amusing or topical and Mods/site managers, I won't be offended if you ignore my suggestions.

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    I Love crossword puzzles.... brain exercises. And, I think acronyms alleviate the necessity of typing out phrases one finds with some regularity every where on the net.

                                    OTOH.... I would not like to hear sounds... no, no sounds, thank you. Can you imagine? As for ignoring your suggestions..... Never! IJS.

                                    1. re: Gio

                                      IJS= I jest solicitously?
                                      But what about the cliqueiness of using acronyms? Don't you feel a little special or smug if someone has to ask you what it means? Don't you feel a little smaller if you're the one asking? I mean, what rock have you been hiding under if you don't know what OK means? Being a Texan, that's easy.... but IJS? You have humbled me... :)

                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        "I'm Just Saying" (and all of these and more than you will ever want to possibly know or use are available via Google - which is not an Acronym).

                                        1. re: Scargod

                                          There is tremendous precedence for the use of acronyms. I give you:
                                          N. B. = Nota Bene
                                          QED = quod erat demonstrandum" (literally, "that which was to be demonstrated").
                                          CD-Rom = Compact Disc read-only memory
                                          FAQ = frequently asked questions
                                          DNA = deoxyribonucleic acid
                                          NAACP = National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
                                          USA = United States of America!

                                          IJS = I'm Just Sayin'

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            I'm not saying that acronyms aren't common. You wouldn't sprinkle an article with specialized or unusual acronyms and dispense it for consumption by the unwashed masses. IJS they wouldn't get it or they'd have a hard time getting it or like some here have said, FI (let's move on). Compound that with hyperbole, shouting, common acronyms, misspelling and member abbreviations, and you can end up with some pretty unintelligible sentences. PEACE

                                            1. re: Scargod

                                              Oh I totally agree with you - the unwashed masses would never understand. But, I say that acronyms have their place among those whose paths cross regularly and understand the lingo. That's all. TA.

                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                The problem is that these new, specialized acronyms are selfish and indulgent.

                                                It saves the writer 5 seconds of typing, but then transfers that time threefold to the reader who then is slowed down because of the need to "decode" the cryptic acronym. That's not the case with common acronyms.

                                                I hate 'em.

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  That's right! You tell 'em! Easy to throw out but hard to figure out. How about tenfold?
                                                  It's like the Good O'l Boy's Club that you can't get into.
                                                  It causes a train wreck with my train of thought and comprehension flow.

                                    2. I have to say, they don't really bother me. If I don't know what something is, I google it. I try not to use them myself - stopped using DH awhile ago - but I also think that it is a simply a "reality" with those who are younger than I (early 40s), and I appreciate getting chow tips from hounds of all ages, even if sometimes I have to work a little bit to decipher something in a post.

                                      33 Replies
                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        I think it's really strange when anyone beyond college age uses "LOL," or even worse, "ROFL." The smiley faces kill me also. Very juvenile.

                                        1. re: FrankieSandals

                                          I don't disagree with that, but, at the same time, if LOL or ROFL is included w/ a great chow tip, that's just fine with me.

                                          1. re: FrankieSandals

                                            When I see people write "LOL" or :), I find that for the most part, it's being used to convey intent. When one is conversing online, it's very difficult to gauge what one is trying to say. Sometimes I'm joking, but it may be difficult to ascertain that unless there's a smiley face put next to my statement.

                                            1. re: Miss Needle

                                              I totally agree with you - it is very hard to convey intent. I'm personally one of those dry humor kind of people but I've learned over the years that the humor part doesn't always convey it typed form. So to avoid appearing to be a complete sarcastic bitch I throw in a couple of LOL's and :) or ;)

                                              1. re: chicaraleigh

                                                I agree with the above two posters. I use smileys and LOL frequently either to convey that I'm joking or happy or actually laughing out loud. If someone LOL'ed one of my posts I would consider it a compliment and that is what I'm trying to do.

                                                I'm also a friendly person who smiles alot, but you guys can't see me so I just use these :)

                                          2. re: MMRuth

                                            I wouldn't say they get under my skin or anything, but in general, I don't really like them. I rarely, rarely use them, except for maybe MIL (mother-in-law) just because that's a pretty long one. I guess what I don't like about them is that they seem a little less personal... I've always hated when people abbreviated X-mas or b-day, especially on a card. I kind of equate chatboard acronyms to that.

                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                              I do use MIL/SIL/BIL as well, have to confess!

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Can't stand the MIL/SIL/BIL... even now in the context of this conversation I have to use unnecessary energy to understand what is conveyed by these. So unnecessary!

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  So is it Mr Taster or Mister Taster?

                                                  Even us old puppies can learn new tricks. :-))

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    The problem is not with old, well-established acronyms which everyone reads as quickly as if the word were spelled out.

                                                    The problem is this rash of new, cryptic acronyms that allow for lazy writing but extra effort on the part of the reader. These new acronyms slow down and even impede communication rather than facilitate it.

                                                    That's the problem.

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                      on first blush jfood agrees that the acros cause some speed reduction and some jfood dislikes alot. but once u understand them and they become embedded in ur vocab, they are really ez.

                                                      remember "Mr." was at one time a new concept. and heck you removed the period and everyone understood.

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        I removed the "." because when Chowhound transitioned to CNET, they wouldn't let me register with a "."

                                                        Of course everything old was new at one point. That's not the point.... what is the point is this profound and sudden proliferation of internet acronyms which benefit nobody except the lazy writer. It's selfish and indulgent on the part of the writer, and helps only to dumb up Chowhound.

                                                        As someone else said, if you're text messaging someone on a 12 button cell phone, it's forgivable. If you're sitting at a full keyboard, it's not.

                                                        Just type it out. It's good for your soul.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                          I think they all came about because lots of people under the age of 30 can't spell for shit.
                                                          OMG, I'm gonna catch hell for that one.

                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                          ok, the "ez" and "ur" and "u" are despicable. if i see posts like that, i cannot stand to read them at all.

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            "despicable"? Wow that's a tough position.

                                                            There are so many posts that jfood wishes he would not have read because of content, but because of a few acronyms, not happening. Jfood places content over style and syntax. If your willing to miss that one good point, could be your loss. Too many other things in life to worry about that acronyms don;t even make the "D" list.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              How about someone with good content and yet can't spell worth a damn? Someone who misuses and abuses the English language and punctuation?
                                                              Do they still get the same credibility and respect as those that (for example), that take the time to write more correctly? I am in the group where writing matters. Sometimes I write like a goof on purpose. I don't have a degree, but I appreciate thoughts that are well written. You are in that group. You seldom confound me with abbreviations.

                                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                                I'm here for the chow tips, not to analyze how well I think another poster writes. Sure, it's easier to read a well punctuated post that is not full of abbreviations, etc., but I'm very wary of setting a tone on Chowhound that will deter those with great chow tips but poor writing skills from posting. And, for some posters, English may be a second or third language, which could affect their ability to write well. Some posters might have a learning disability that hampers their ability to spell well. Good writing matters to me in other areas of my life, but not on Chowhound. I try to write clearly and correctly, but I'd hate to feel that my writing was being parsed on those occasions where I screw up.

                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                  Could not agree with you more Ruth. CH is a content driven site. Form comes way in behind function, which is to eat well. Give me good chow tips, punctuated however you wish. The only time spelling enters into this site is when the name of the restaurant is given, and even then if the location is described accurately not even that detail need be perfectly on point.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    "I try to write clearly and correctly, but I'd hate to feel that my writing was being parsed on those occasions where I screw up."

                                                                    Your points are well taken and perhaps I am wrong. My work requires parsing and perfection. Sometimes it is hard to disengage from or separate the two.
                                                                    Note I said "abuses", as well. I mostly object to posters being sloppy and lazy. Just throw something up on the screen and hit send. I guess that's OK if you are instant messaging a friend...

                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                      Understood - I do think it can be hard to discern though whether someone is being sloppy and lazy vs. (hope that one is okay) simply not having the ability or knowledge to write properly.

                                                                      P.S. I should have written "... feel that my writing were being parsed", I think.

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        This is a thread, woven into a garment with many varied comments and opinions. As many have said, there is a lot to be learned from what has been shared and discussed here. Some of us will be more sensitive to using abbreviations (and that our writing is more understandable for everyone in the future).
                                                                        I've learned that I was primarily talking about abbreviations, not acronyms....
                                                                        There is a lot of useful food information being shared. I hope we can keep the writing and comprehendability up. I would hate to see Chowhound degrade into a juvenile, YELP'ish style forum.

                                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                                            NO YELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                          2. re: MMRuth

                                                                            "P.S. I should have written "... feel that my writing were being parsed", I think."

                                                                            Whoa, MMRuth -- correcting a potential misuse of the subjunctive mood in English -- that's advanced grammatical cooking :-). And yup, that's a smiley emoticon there to indicate joshing from a fellow word bird.

                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                              I always aspire to advanced cooking, grammatical or otherwise!

                                                                      2. re: Scargod

                                                                        Thanks S.

                                                                        Jfood is normall in the camp of non-text acronyms but some have crept into jfood's CH posts, i.e. sorta, MIL, while others appeared with a short shelf life. And, like you, when he is reading a book or a professional writing, the bad use of language drives him nuts. The total and complete misuse of certain words cause him to correct under his breath. "Please call Paul or myself" drives him insane. It's ...call Paul or ME. And if you ever take a book out of the New Canaan Library that has a word crossed out it was probably the work of Jfood.

                                                                        But here he is a bit more relaxed because that is why he comes here and he has a lower standard for his poetics and others.

                                                                      3. re: jfood

                                                                        yeah, i'm willing to post that "ur" and "u" to my loss. call me crazy!

                                                              2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                I will say that this thread has made me much more aware of using the few acronyms that I do use, and I've tried not to use them. That said, SIL/BIL/MIL are very convenient, understanding that the issue of convenience has been raised elsewhere on this thread.

                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                  I agree with Taser 100%. What do SIL, BIL and MIL stand for?

                                                                  1. re: FrankieSandals

                                                                    Sister-in-Law, Brother-in-Law, Mother-in-Law

                                                                  2. re: MMRuth

                                                                    There is no doubt that the proliferation of texting devices will morph the english lexicon into acronyms and uninvented contractions, at warpspeed. Not a C'hound thing; simply everywhere.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                      as i've said before, language evolves, and that's a good thing. It keeps it vital and strong and fresh. Unless you use "terrific" to mean inducing terror, and actually believe in a ptolemaic solar system when you say "sunrise" you already know this. Thankfully we, in english, do not have an academie, stifling the growth of our language.

                                                              3. re: Katie Nell

                                                                At least Xmas is a legitimate abbreviation going back centuries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmas

                                                                I thought for a long time that DH and DC were initials of people's actual dining companions, until I saw them often enough to realize that couldn't be the case...

                                                            2. lol. nice post. MTFBWU, Scargod.
                                                              (may the force be with you).

                                                              1. Who would decide what are the common ones? People get used to different ones and while DH is obvious to those who are on message boards a lot think it's common, people who are knew don't. I'll tell you AF took me the longest time to figure out. And, there are common lingo abbreviations that are across all message boards and CH has ones that wasn't as common: MtAoFC, JC, RLB, CI that take me a minute to figure out. It would be cool to have a pop up window you could click on that would give all the abbreviations used here--kind of a wikiwindow that could be updated.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                  You can also get variations across boards on Chowhound. Of the ones you mention, only CI rings a bell - if it means Cooks Illustrated, which I'm am more likely to call ATC (for the TV version). But then I hang about the Home Cooking and Pacific NW boards, not the Washington DC one.

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    JC - Julia Child
                                                                    MtAoFC - Mastering the Art of French Cooking
                                                                    RLB - I'm assuming it's Rose Levy Beranbaum

                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                      It's all matter of context. As an abstract list they didn't ring a bell. If the thread was about 'Bittman bread' (a different kind of shorthand) I might have figured out RLB (since I use her version of that recipe). Similarly talk about classic TV shows or French cooking would trigger the other associations.

                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                        I picked them up from context, too. As a stand alone, it would be hard to figure them out. MtAoFC took a while and typing it out just isn't worth the time--I can type out Mastering the Art of Frech Cooking much more mindlessly (and quickly) than typing out the abbreviation. On the Food Media board, there are so many different ones I can't figure out, especially for ongoing shows like Hells Kitchen and Top Chef.

                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                          When people use AB, I have to stop and think if they mean Alton Brown (my tv crush) or Anthony Bourdain. Yes, usually in context it will make sense. But, still.

                                                                2. The only acronyms that really annoy me are those that are stand-ins for words people wouldn’t otherwise use publicly. If you wouldn’t use the word itself in the title of your post or your message, what makes you think it’s okay to use the acronym?

                                                                  But please . . . please! . . . don’t take away my EVOO. I’m just not that good a typist (and I’ve never even seen RR on TV, so I hear no voices). RLB? Guilty as charged. But usually in context where one (I?) would assume (I know; there’s an ass in assume) it would be understood.

                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                    You are right. My mom would wash my mouth out with soap! I promise not to do it again; but it's so easy! Surely the Mods would banish me if I used the real words. I'm just trying to make George Carlin proud of me. RIP

                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                      Yes, I could live without WTF! Seems to me if a poster actually were to spell out the words, he or she might think twice about it.

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        i find myself speaking aloud in front of dh's grandma and other people's small children:

                                                                        SK: double-yew tee eff. . . who put plastic cars in my shoes?!?

                                                                        oh yes, the acronyms work backwards into common speech, it's very sad ;-P

                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                          My son says LOL and ROFL as though they're real words. (ROFL rhymes with awful) It drives me crazy. I usually ask him what an acronym means if I can't f figure it out from context -- usually. Don't know what NFW means, but from the context I don't think I want him to tell me.

                                                                          1. re: Glencora

                                                                            Uhmmm... emphatic "NO WAY!"

                                                                        2. re: MMRuth

                                                                          i'd prefer to spell it out, but the mods are too zealous for that. what i really dont get is when people write things like "sh!t" or "f@ck" i mean how is that any different from spelling it out? personally, i am not offended by language, but YMMV

                                                                        3. re: Scargod

                                                                          Banish? No, I don't think so. Unfortunately. See this reply to a post of mine nearly two years ago. Off topic is banishable; obscenity, evidently not.

                                                                          Ooops. Forgot the link:


                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                            RE, that post:
                                                                            I'm still trying to understand ":God help the NO board."
                                                                            AA !
                                                                            This is what blows about acronyms(?)!
                                                                            Now, I'm not sure what to call them. Snit

                                                                          2. re: Scargod

                                                                            The mods to not regulate or censor language, unless mean or nasty intent is conveyed by it. For example, I will use the word "fuck" as an illustrative example, with no negative intent conveyed. If my post is still here in a few hours, my point will have been made :)

                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                              Unless it's the old George Carlin routine, jfood hopes to find both your and his posts deleted when he comes back from dinner as well as all future posts deleted with this word.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                The mods have said many, many times that they do not edit posts, and they only remove posts when they're mean-spirited or off topic. Your post and mine are neither, and so I predict they will stay.

                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                  they will remove for vulgarity, though, won't they?

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    Chowhound mods have said many times that they do not censor for language. It depends entirely on the intent of the post, and really its the only way to intelligently moderate a conversation is to monitor by content, not individual words.

                                                                                    This is an on-topic conversation, discussing the site on "site talk" board, where we are discussing how the moderators operate. Using the word "fuck" as an illustrative example is entirely on topic for this board, without malicious intent, and so it stays.

                                                                                    As much as I disagree with the mods in zapping my posts, you've gotta give them appropriate freedom of speech kudos for not zapping words out of context willy-nilly. George Carlin would be proud.

                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      It's interesting that when you hit the "report" button you have a choice of vulgar, but as MT predicted above, the Mods lef tthese posts.

                                                                                      And jfood agrees that they have consistently mentioned they will not censor for language, only content.

                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                        There is nothing vulgar about a discussion on the use of crude words. Vulgarity/inappropriateness comes from intent, and is not inherent in the word itself.

                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                          Although jfood can agree with you on a certain philosophical level, the use of such words should be avoided, in jfood's opinion.

                                                                                          It's like putting lipstick on a pig, a vulgar word is still a vulgar word.

                                                                          3. Scargod, one point about this thread. Most of the things that have been discussed here are not acronyms, but rather abbreviations. Acronyms are letters that form another word, which can be pronounced as a separate word, and has come into widespread, commonly accepted use. Good illustrations of acronyms that are now widely used, understood and accepted would be LASER (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) and SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus). Letters put together like DH or DW or even EVOO are not really acronyms, but rather abbreviations.

                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                              See my post above. You're mostly right, but some of them have become words. Sad, but true.

                                                                              1. re: Glencora

                                                                                To back up your point, I had a chance to read this thread earlier this morning. A bit later I went out to lunch with my teenage son and his best friend (ages 16 & 15 respectively)....they use abbreviations constantly as part of their dialog. OMG, WTF, WFB, LOL, LMAO, ROFL, and on and on, or as they would say..AOAO...

                                                                                It got me thinking - how long have they been doing this and how long have I either just ignored it or just sort of adapted? And then an alarming thought occurred to me, "OMG I do it too!"

                                                                                It made me wonder though - is it any really different from the slang words that teenagers of every generation use?

                                                                                I can remember saying things like cool, hot, awesome, totally awesome, bitchin (in a good way), nerd, geek, 411, as if, wiggin, sprung, fugly, and as much as I hate to admit it I think I might have even said tubular once or twice, but only when I had my checkered Vans on. <normally I'd put a :) here but for sake of this post I won't!>

                                                                                Anyway my point is, just as our parents figured out our slang or at least tried to, I think the same will be true of the Internet/text generation and the next and the next. And as such, these iconic paraphrases, interpretations, acronyms, abbreviations, et. al will continue to either drive us crazy or we'll learn to adapt; a la Darwinism.

                                                                                ttfn (sorry....couldn't resist)

                                                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                                                I agree with you and retract my comment about the site (http://www.acronymfinder.com/), calling it "acronym finder". That is the name of the site but they also say, "Find out what any acronym, abbreviation, or initialism stands for", so they do make clear distinctions.
                                                                                Should I start this thread over or ask Chowhound to amend the title to: Abbreviations, initials, text messaging shorthand and (occasionally), acronyms: Could we use them less or more responsibly?

                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                  The real difficulty with abbreviations are that there is no standard for any of them, and folks go around stringing any and all letters together to make their own in jest, or because they are lazy, or think they are being creative, or for reasons of generational "coolness". I generally find that you can just skip over most of them, as they aren't generally germane to the review of the restaurant which can still be read and understood without knowing what they stand for. I'm your age Scargod, so we ARE the curmudgeons now - and I for one am proud to fill that role. Semper Fi.

                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                    <"Should I start this thread over or ask Chowhound to amend the title to: Abbreviations, initials, text messaging shorthand and (occasionally), acronyms: Could we use them less or more responsibly?">

                                                                                    That might cause a SNAFU.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      HAR-HAR! YUK-YUK! That's an old one, that I would say IS an acronym by now.
                                                                                      Thank you Giovanna.

                                                                                      1. re: Scargod

                                                                                        Yes, that really Is an acronym. But, I recently learned that what we have been talking about here are: Initialisms.

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          After reading the Wikipedia entry for "initialism", I have to say that you are correct, and I am once again..... wrong. I have been using acronym and now abbreviation inappropriately. How are we to expect our youth to do better when we old farts foul up so much?
                                                                                          Initialisms seems to be the non-controversial definition of "these things", especially if there are gray area combinations like jpeg.
                                                                                          I'm wondering how many of us have even heard of initialism? It wasn't in my vocabulary.

                                                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                                                            Well, initially ... I thought the abbreviations and other typing short cuts were acronyms too since I have several sites bookmarked which lump acronyms and the other bane, smilies, together. Now I know better. I do maintain, though, that what-ever-you-want-to-call-them have their place either in private texting or within a certain group of people who understands the "code". Just consider all this new stuff as increasing your knowledge and dragging you into the 21st century. You can go quietly or you can go kicking and screaming.

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              resistance is futile?

                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                Resistance is empowering.

                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                I'll go kickin' 'n screamin'! I like to bitch, too...
                                                                                                Last week I took over as IT person for a 20 person business and I'm having to be a quick study for the gaps in my knowledge....and I'm supposed to be retired!
                                                                                                I love soupkitten's posts. Here is a post where she mixes in a lot of abbreviations and it's slightly daunting to get it all. I still don't know what csas is! !AA! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4177...

                                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                  Community Supported Agriculture - CSA's

                                                                                  2. howdy scargod,
                                                                                    texting shorthand is with us for the long haul. nothing we can do about it. most of the stuff is pretty easy to figure out. the arcane stuff will have to be brought up and answered by others. that's just the way it goes.

                                                                                    1. You know I've been getting more and more testy while perusing the topics here because of this very issue... people need to realize that not everyone knows what the hell "you" (you=the person using all the acronyms) are talking about.

                                                                                      Have we become that lazy of a society where we can't be bothered to spell out words? ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE THE OP. (that one I do understand, but it took a while)

                                                                                      I've been stewing about this for a while, not wanting to get ridden out of town on a rail if I were to have said anything, since I'm not a regular here.

                                                                                      I do know what BYOB is, but I have no damn I idea what any of the other ones you named.

                                                                                      I'm not an "old fart" like you said you are, although I'm sure you're not, but I don't use acronyms in my professional life, so I sure as hell won't make an ass out of myself by trying to use them in cyberspace.


                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                        Thanks TY! Should that be THY?
                                                                                        I feel your pain. I feel very young, and (I think), act young. I'm up for a good fight, as long as nobody sucker punches me! Sadly, I am almost 62. Sniff, sniff.
                                                                                        I appreciate your support and opinion, yet, I feel the end is coming for old dinosaurs and curmudgeons! We may be right, but I think we're dead right.

                                                                                        We bettered get used to it and use "Acronym Finder" to keep up. They call it "acronym finder", not "abbreviation finder", BTW.

                                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                                          What's so sad about bein' spittin' distance from collecting SS checks every month for the rest of your life?

                                                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                                                            "they" will only win if you let them! DOWN WITH EXCESSIVE ACRONYMS!! :P

                                                                                            1. re: Scargod

                                                                                              At least you are online. I tell so many of my older relatives to try the internet, they will probably like it. But do they listen? Bah!

                                                                                          2. While I seldom use acronyms or abbreviations myself, I can understand that someone might throw in a few in the heat of composition. Although this thread makes it clear that many object to them, I wouldn't kid myself that it would change their writing habits.

                                                                                            1. You really struck a chord with this post. 64 replies so far. I agree with you about the over-use of acronyms, it is annoying and interupts the flow for me too. There was one on the Pennsylvannia board that ended up getting deleted, PITA, but I have seen it on other posts too. I finally gave up and asked and someone told me almost immediately. Chowhounds are so nice. No one here has ever tried to make me feel stupid. I have visited some much rougher forums on gaming sites and certain Live Journals I like to follow. (LJ) But there is a word that I absolutely detest because it is so overused in other areas. It is hard to see what isn't there but I come from an education background and I want to give chowhounds a sincere shout out for not over using the word appropriate. Thank you so much. I feel so strongly about this that I actually wrote the editor of a popular magazine about the over-use of the A word (can't bear to type it in again) and she agreed strongly with me. Anyway PITA stands for pain in the A** Thanks for introducing a great topic! I wonder if I had been given my user name as my real life name if I would get more cookies and donuts?

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. after thinking about this on my way home from work yesterday... I remember when "FUBAR" was cool, and when someone lived out in the boonies it was referred to as "BFE".

                                                                                                that's all I got.

                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                  What do FUBAR and BFE stand for? Thank you.

                                                                                                  1. re: FrankieSandals

                                                                                                    FUBAR we related to being drunk, the "F" part is a popular 4 letter word aka "effed" Up Beyond All Recognition.

                                                                                                    BFE = Bum "insert 4 letter F word here" Egypt.

                                                                                                    Can we even use the "F" word here or will it be deleted and a ruler will come out of my monitor and crack me on the knuckles?

                                                                                                    1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                      I'm pretty sure you can use that word as long as you aren't directing it to anyone in a hateful and angry way...but, so seldom do I find using that word necessary on these forums...


                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                        Yeah I know what you mean, sometimes an F-bomb is needed though, just nice to know it's available ; )

                                                                                                      2. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                        sorry THY but FUBAR has nothing to do with being drunk. it's more of a structural or mechanical term, relating to brokeness of structure or equipment, often beyond repair. correct usages of FUBAR:

                                                                                                        "a tornado hit the cabin, the whole structure is FUBAR. I'm not sure whether we should try to repair it, or raze what's left of it and rebuild."

                                                                                                        "the plane had an engine fire. engine four is FUBAR and needs replacement. the plane is now grounded."

                                                                                                        "i just bought this flashlight, but it's not working. i don't know what's wrong with it, but it seems to be FUBAR."

                                                                                                        ETA: you can also use it relating to a situation which has disintegrated into chaos: "it was a peaceful protest until the cops went off on the alleged anarchists. the hippies for peace group were caught in the crossfire. when the pregnant lady got hit with rubber bullets, the crowd went berserk, and the cops lost control. it's totally FUBAR down here, people are torching cars and smashing storefronts."

                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                          Actually there are several different meanings attributed to FUBAR. Take a look here:

                                                                                                          Both you and TarheelYankee are correct....

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            haha, thank you Gio, I find that any argument on the use of the word FUBAR is funny to begin with. :P

                                                                                                            you know what else is funny? If you google "FUBAR" the first hit is "the first online bar and happy hour" and hits that follow on the first page refer to bars in various locations.... hell there was even a MOVIE made about FUBAR.

                                                                                                            But what do I know, I'm just wrong... shame on me for wrongly using it in college all those years. I guess I should have paid more attention in English class on the day they taught the proper use of slang and acronyms. I bet I skipped that day, to go get drunk.

                                                                                                            ah, good times, good times

                                                                                                            1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                              And just to complete the FUBAR / SNAFU circle there is also FUBB (Fu**ed up Beyond Belief) and the ever popular Cluster F**k. All of these I associate with the military before any other organization or use.

                                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                But wait, there's more! What about FUMTU (Fouled Up More Than Usual) and TARFU (Things Are Really Fouled Up)?

                                                                                                                My grandfather (WWII vet) used them to differentiate between stages of an escalating crisis--SNAFU deteriorates to FUMTU, which if you don't do something about it becomes TARFU and can eventually lead to FUBAR.

                                                                                                          2. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                            if you read my reply you see I said "WE RELATED IT TO..."

                                                                                                            I got a chuckle out of your trying to school me on the "proper" usage of the word "FUBAR" though.

                                                                                                            1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                              i think if you told anyone who's served in the military in the past 70 years that a *person* was FUBAR, they'd assume the person would need immediate medical attention due to being shot, car wreak, being seriously beaten, etc. this is the common usage of the term. i'm aware that nascar mechanics and hackers have their own (recent) versions of the acronym, but this is still the primary definition, as the acronym has been commonly used since WWII.


                                                                                                              sorry to be pedantic about it though-- i can just see my dad flipping out about "incorrect acronym usage" which of course he'd immediately (& compulsively) make into an acronym--IAU.

                                                                                                              "OMG the IAU on these boards are leading to most threads getting OT and FUBAR; CH has become a constant SNAFU lately, what a colossal PITA!"

                                                                                                              see, dweebs like my family are how these ridiculous problems get to be laughable. hopefully laughable, anyway. ;-P

                                                                                                          3. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                            Snafu has similar origins.

                                                                                                            A culinary abbreviation (initialism) with military origins is SOS.

                                                                                                            There are some forums where the software automatically censors selected words. The censorship becomes a joke when a legitimate use (such as in a place name) of the word is replaced with '(word removed, please policy statement)'.

                                                                                                            1. re: TarheelYankee

                                                                                                              I always associated SNAFU and Fubar w/ the Navy/ Marines/ military in Nam. Many a military plan was FUBAR! When I got there I was a NFG, but I wish instead I was a REMF, so i wouldn't have to deal w/ the VC or the NVA from our LZ.

                                                                                                            2. re: FrankieSandals

                                                                                                              the first is from the military. "fouled up beyond all recognition"-- with a more emphatic word replacing "fouled." another well known one is SNAFU-- "situation normal, all 'fouled' up."

                                                                                                              my folks were ex-military, and my late father in particular was very fond of acronyms. he was always, annoyingly, making up acronyms, referring to the family vehicle as a POC (personally owned conveyance), etc. maybe because of him, i actually associate the use & overuse of acronyms with the *older* generations! LMAO! :)

                                                                                                          4. I do find myself visiting Urban Dictionary more often...

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                              Urban dictionary, Acronym finder, Wikipedia and Yourdictionary.com are almost always open in my browser and reside on my favorites toolbar for quick access; especially if I am on Chowhound!

                                                                                                            2. Just to lighten this up a bit, Adam Gopnik ( writer ) tellls the story of believing that LOL meant Lots of Love and sent endless emails such as " I am sorry to hear of the death of your grandmother LOL" and "Sorry to hear about Rex , I know how much you loved that dog LOL " til his Kid told him differently ....when I read that i was ROFL...

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                That's great - I love his writing. I actually caught myself saying "LOL" once and am much more mindful of it now!

                                                                                                                1. re: capeanne

                                                                                                                  LOL! That one really had me ROFL! I am still cracking up as I type this!

                                                                                                                2. I rarely use abbreviations; when I do, it's when the full term has already been spelled out in the original post or in my own (e.g., TJ's when the topic is Trader Joe's).
                                                                                                                  But although I am an old luddite who's only had a computer for 4 years and a cell phone for one (no camera, no texting), it's rarely a problem to figure out the definition from the context, and sometimes fun to do so. This hermudgeon would prefer unscrambling a little alphabet soup to reading the hackneyed "awesomes" and "amazings" that litter this site's posts. I've been around for nearly 60 years and have happily eaten many delectable meals, but have never been awestruck or astounded by food or decor! PTIYPASI

                                                                                                                  1. Do you have trouble saying IOU? TGIF? Even, WTF? :-) Well, I think acronyms have a time and a place. They creep into conversation. They can be amusing. And they are part of our culture and language which is a living, evolving mode of communication. I definitely sometimes wonder what people mean - but if I didn't know 'LOL' by now, many emails and text messages would still be a mystery. I think it's a matter of continuing to learn the way we communicate. You may not use them yourself if you don't approve (for instance, I don't like or use excessive exclamation points!!!!), but you should probably know them.

                                                                                                                    1. Tex, I just stumbled on this post, as a recovering neoLuddite, I rarely frequent site talk. I too am confused by all the acronyms, and try to use context, but I thought that I was just an analog guy in a digital world old fart.
                                                                                                                      This is truly funny. The only acronym I use regularly is Winnie-the-Pooh's TTFN.
                                                                                                                      Marco el Viejo Pedo

                                                                                                                      1. Been following this thread for nearly two weeks, and am enlightened and amused by many of the posts. But the notion that acronyms (or initialisms) are the province of the millennial generation is, IMHO, incorrect. In fact, it is those of us who have gotten through the first half of our life expectancy who understand and appreciate CRS (can't remember s***) syndrome.

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                            Alan, just to keep it chowcentric, have you had SOS for breakfast lately?

                                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                              Y'know whats funny alanbarnes? My father actually works for a government agency that goes by the acronym CRS. He couldn't understand why I was laughing so hard at the fact that he works for Community Relations Specialists. He actually IS a CRS. And he also CRS. Hee hee!

                                                                                                                              1. re: diablo

                                                                                                                                I was a machinist. CRS= cold rolled steel.
                                                                                                                                Just another reason we should carefully, sincerely and judiciously use abbreviations and acronyms.
                                                                                                                                IMHO (I may have obfuscated).

                                                                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                  We used to use CRS in the FBI before a raid. (Collateral Risk Solutions)
                                                                                                                                  WALOBS (What a lot of Bull sh*t)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                    This whole thread has succeeded in giving me a headache.

                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                      TTB. SS.

                                                                                                                                      (that's too bad. so sorry.) However, you are reading it.....

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                        I agree, but I started it! I was not expecting it to degrade (as if that could happen), into sharing BS abbreviations, or is it initials?
                                                                                                                                        I wanted it to stop!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                          Ah and here's a couple of key lessons to learn about Chowhound. Everyone's got their own opinion and we all love to share them, and give people a chance to goof around and they'll take it (myself included).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Scargod


                                                                                                                                            One of the things jfood has learned on CH is that you can start a thread but it takes a life and direction of its own. You can ask about a chicken recipe and it will morph into a discussion on eating chicken nuggets, then which chain makes the best and then into chains and how good/bad they are.

                                                                                                                                            At some point you just look at the "new" icon and ignore it.

                                                                                                                                            Look at the bright side, in your neighborhood when you get upset you can soak your tears in Pepes/Sallys/Modern. Look at the positive.

                                                                                                                                2. OP = Original Poster. Makes it a bit easier if you're responding to someone's comment and want to refer to the original poster, who's name might be J.Palasonakis_1952. Maybe the rule should be OP can only be used for people with greek last names. :)

                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: 2slices

                                                                                                                                    I have used OP before but I never knew it was an acronym... I thought it was a shortened version for operator. Either way it doesn't disrupt my flow as I read posts the same way as it does with the MIL/SIL/FIL/DH/etc. nonsense.

                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                      I travel for business and post alot flyertalk.com (FT). They request you learn their acronyms, the glossary has over 100 terms. It's incredibly confusing and beyond snotty, and some posters love to correct you.

                                                                                                                                      Example - "Will I earn DL MQMs on CO81 EWK/PVG if I use SKMs to upgrade to a Z bucket in BE?"

                                                                                                                                      Translation: If I use my delta sky miles to upgrade to business class on Continental flight 81 from newark to shanghai, will I still earn Delta miles that count towards a higher delta customer status?"

                                                                                                                                      1. re: 2slices

                                                                                                                                        The entire travel industry runs on a shortened list of terms. How else could those travel operators type your flight intinerary in record speed. Come on, many industry's rely on short cuts and consumers "usually" appreciate the speed & convenience of service.

                                                                                                                                        I still don't see why this issue has to ruin anything on CH Boards. Many of us began completely unaware of these shortcuts but with time their use becomes easier & quicker. If you don't like them you don't have to use them...but when in Rome...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                          Flyertalk is used by frequent flyers, not industry insiders. Some of it is necessary but mostly it's just showing off. Knowing airport codes is useful, but does anyone need the acronym GLONP, "a 6 night free stay at a high end Hilton".

                                                                                                                                          1. re: 2slices

                                                                                                                                            2slices, my point was that many industry's use short cut speak and chances are good in the age of texting & techno speak its here to stay. I don't see how any of these short cuts are "showing off."

                                                                                                                                              1. re: 2slices

                                                                                                                                                Fun thread. I use the occasional acronym/initialism (SO for significant other is for some reason a favourite), and didn't know what DH or OP meant when I first arrived here. I generally try to avoid these shortcuts, however, because of something I observed years ago in journalism school: a very well educated, sincere woman nearly in tears after receiving an assigment back with "FYI" written on it. She had never seen this before and was convinced the instructor had it in for her and that it meant F*** You, Idiot. After I stopped laughing (or maybe ROTFLMAO?), I explained it to her and inwardly vowed to be careful with acronyms etc thereafter.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                  Ha - too funny. I got an 'E' on a first assignment in law school, which confounded me. When my team and I asked the professor what it meant, he said, well, it's not for excellence. Fortunately, three years later, all ended well. The best thing I've read on this thread was the improper use of 'LOL'.


                                                                                                                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                I, too, have learned a lot of the standard ones used on Chowhound and have incorporated them into my writing. I don't think using abbreviations or obscure acronyms is showing off. Awareness or sensitivity might cut down on the use of some of them. I dislike the use of unusual ones sprinkled in so that it is hard to have a smooth comprehension flow when reading. It's like when you are sipping on your coffee while you drive, like you do every morning, and then you hit the unexpected pothole and coffee sloshes onto you. Then you say, WT..? What was that? Now you've also lost your place in the New Yorker article you were reading...

                                                                                                                                                Ooh, ooh,,,, here's another example! Using unusual abbreviations is like reading the NYT (New Your Times), and stumbling on one of the highfalutin words they often like to throw in. Do I ignore it, try to guess what it means in the context of the sentence, or get out the dictionary? Do I really want to strain my brain so much to read this article?

                                                                                                                                                What's the percentage of people who know CIA, FN, ATK, AB, WFM and others, related to food? Using them even subconsciously smacks of an inside joke, secret handshake or an elitist attitude that may alienate or slow the inclusion of newcomers to Chowhound. I think we should be more considerate.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                  ". Then you say, WT..? "

                                                                                                                                                  this is too funny. the acronym is created so people don't use a "bad" word (not that think there are bad words.. but i digress) and then scargod drops the 'f" in the acronym. that makes me lol

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                    The "WT...." made my brain hit a pothole and spill i-coffee all over my lap :)

                                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                    Scargod, when I replied to 2slices I said I didn't agree with the pov (that's point of view) that using any form of "shortcut" was showing off. So I believe (if I understand your post) that we agree there.

                                                                                                                                                    In my time enjoying CH Boards I have learned abbreviations, shortcuts, acronyms and so on. I've also learned a great deal more about braising, who the top NY chefs are, countless recommended reads, that the food blog sector is gigantic and so on. My other point is that this community is about learning from each other; which I adore about the entire site. I commend you for trying (wink) to sort this issue out but it may be a lot to ask.

                                                                                                                                                    You can always elect to bypass the word abbreviated or ask a fellow 'hound, what does it mean.

                                                                                                                                                    "Using them even subconsciously smacks of an inside joke, secret handshake or an elitist attitude that may alienate or slow the inclusion of newcomers to Chowhound. I think we should be more considerate."

                                                                                                                                                    We can always be more considerate but I do not believe any of these issues smack of insiderism, elitist attitudes or exclusion of newcomers. They are habits, imho (that's in my humble opinion).

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                      IMHO is one of the internet acronyms that I finally "got" about two years ago... now I can read it without that brain freeze that still happens with MIL/SIL/FIL and the like. However I rarely use it myself, because I recognize that there are still many others who do not "get it".

                                                                                                                                                      Scargod, I really don't see internet acronyms as being elitist at all. It's simply a lazy way to communicate ideas that a small (but growing) number of internet users understand. Typing out "son-in-law", even with the hyphens, hardly stresses your finger joints to the point of collapse. Again... if you're posting to chowhound from a 12 button cell phone, it's forgivable. But not taking the 3 extra seconds to type out "son-in-law" for the sake of clarity of hundreds if not thousands of posters.... well, in my humble opinion, it's downright selfish.

                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster, that's a first for me. Not writing out son in law is selfish in communities like Chowhound? Maybe it's just availability of time. I'm typing from my work PC at nearly the end point in my day but if I snag a chowhound thread to my liking at 8am I'm more than likely to type a post more on the fly. Habit.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          I think you hit on a critical point... "In communities like Chowhound..."

                                                                                                                                                          I've not found another community like Chowhound, which is why I've been coming back here for 8 years.

                                                                                                                                                          Chowhound is different because it has traditionally encouraged a flow of conversation, and that people have traditionally spelled out and elaborated on their thoughts, as opposed to short attention span websites like yelp or citysearch, where the annoying acronym problem is, if not acceptable, at least understandable. Chowhound sets the bar *much* higher for passionate, down to earth, intelligent discussion. These sorts of acronyms serve only to dumb down the site at worst, and confuse people at best.

                                                                                                                                                          By the way.... is SIL an acronym for "son-in-law" or "sister-in-law"? Do you see my point? And ultimately, it's irrelevant anyway, since Chowhound is about food, and not familial relations.

                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                          ok i was scanning quickly through i i thought mr tasters brain froze when he read MILF, and THAT is an entirely different sort of website!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                        3. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          "CIA, FN, ATK, AB, WFM, and others, related to food"
                                                                                                                                                          I am talking about abbreviations that have very limited use; mostly by "foodies" or those in the industry.
                                                                                                                                                          It's like my accountant or a physicist trying to tell me something in technical double-speak. Haven't any of you had a computer tech/geek say things like POP3, DHCP, WAN or LAN and you just feel inadequate? I have felt that way on CH and I'm not a dummy.
                                                                                                                                                          Think what some are faced with when they are reading these threads and looking to broaden their chowish horizons. Do they need to learn a second language first?

                                                                                                                                          2. Folks, it seems like all that really can be said on this topic has been said, so we're going to close it now.

                                                                                                                                            As you're reading along, sharing in the generosity of others' contributions, please focus on the quality of the tip, not the quality of the writing. We encourage people to communicate clearly in their posts, but we don't make hard and fast rules about how people should write. Whether they write in complete, complex sentences or do their best with limited English skills, post everything in the third person or type in ALL CAPS, everyone's welcome to join our community and share their chow tips.