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From hereon henceforth, it shall be considered poor writing style on Daily Kos to introduce a three letter acronym (TLA) or even a four letter acronym (FLA) without proper full explanation of your abbreviation.

Really, it's just about productivity.  If you, the author, can spell it out for us, your hundreds of readers yearning and thirsting for your opinions will not have to look it up at the urban dictionary or whatever.  You could literally save us from spending hundreds of minutes wondering WTF (what the fuck) you are talking about, and likewise save us collectively all the time searching the interwebs for what you mean, and context switching back to your diary.

What, may I ask, do you think will happen if we encounter hilarious pictures of grumpy cat when we go looking up your TLAs?  Or perhaps those angry birds start chirping at us again?  Or you find some delicious pie?  Who knows, perhaps we will even fall prey to competitors or worse, we will accidentally be swayed by the impressive logic of the NRA/Red State folks (OK, ha ha, that's a joke).

Worst of all, when you don't explain your TLAs, your diary is exclusionary.  Your readers, aloof.  So, don't  be a TLA dropper.

Ta ta for now (TTFN)


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Comment Preferences

  •  WTADORLAC? (4+ / 0-)

    (Was this a diary or a long assed comment)?  ;)

    If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. Albert Einstein

    by kharma on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:09:19 AM PST

  •  WTF (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    UR SOL.

  •  Acronyms about acronyms are black holes (8+ / 0-)

    that should be avoided at all costs. They might pull us into other dimensions of space and time.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:18:40 AM PST

    •  EXACTLY! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, crystal eyes

      usually they are scary enough to get people to put their afternburners on and avoid the black hole.  

      I actually love usuing the TLA acronym during meetings when people start dropping them.  Then you throw out "TLA" and people are all like... WTF.  And then you can tell them what TLA stands for and usually they get it and smile.

      I'm hoping that's what Kos does (smile) instead of banning me. :)

      ~ Nothing insightful to say ~

      by EagleOfFreedom on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:23:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  TLDR (n/t) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, HeyMikey, crankypatriot

    "Every now & then your brain gifts you with the thought, 'oh, that's right, I don't actually give a **** about this.' Treasure it" -- jbou

    by kenlac on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:24:18 AM PST

  •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    Yesterday I ran into something about RFBF, or maybe it was RBFF, with a related variant involving a T in there somewhere, spent a couple minutes trying to click links and figure out the joke, gave up.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:32:30 AM PST

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, The Marti, splashy

    I am so tired of feeling stupid because I don't know what some obscure group of letters is supposed to identify.

    " a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

    by Getreal1246 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:55:56 AM PST

  •  Easy solution available to all… (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat, splashy, tapestry

    (mouseover annoying abbreviations/identifiers/acronyms to decode)

    I often use abbreviations/identifiers/acronyms—the middle because it's what I used for 30+ years and i can't turn it off. I find it extraordinarily distracting to describe in parentheticals what is well served by an abbreviation of some sort, particularly if it's in the general lexicon.

    The technique I've developed (first pioneered by me on my ATC website) is to include HTML code (CSS, actually) which contains what would otherwise be a parenthetical explanation, but keeps it hidden until the user mouses over the offending abbreviation/identifier/acronym and also saves them a trip to the dictionary—urban or otherwise.

    I also include a parenthetical instruction at the head of any post I make which employs the technique so users will know help is at hand, er, mouse.

    Anyone can do it. I included a brief tutorial in another comment a week or so ago, but I'll repeat it here:

    First surround the abbreviation, etc., with a span element, e.g.:


    Then add the descriptive stuff as a "title" attribute remembering to enclose it in quotes:

    <span title="descriptive stuff">TLA</span>

    Here's what it will look like to the user (really—mouseover to see): TLA

    The title attribute is very useful in other HTML code, too. For example, you can (and should) include it in an <img> element with a description of the image on mouseover.

    I also always use the same text in a <alt> element, which displays before the image pops up on loading and is also picked up by code readers for the vision impaired.

    I frequently use <title> in anchor elements, too, as it can provide a better descriptor of what the link is supposed to take you to than seeing the URI in the bottom bar of your browser.

    Very helpful technique. I'd actually been employing that long before I discovered CSS and the <span> element.

    One final nit—acronyms are pronouncable. Therefore, TLA is an abbreviation but not an acronym. A true acronym is something like NASA.
    •  Aw geez (0+ / 0-)

      It's your readers who are important, not you. Otherwise, why bother to publish? It is a long-standing convention that unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations be spelled out when they are first used.

      Your hover solution is decidedly imperfect, even if every author knew what you were talking about and was willing to take the extra time to use it. The hover zone for your example is so tiny that it is damn near worthless. The only reason I, at least, could find it is that I believed you.

      And, the hover should read "three-letter acronym" not "three letter acronym."

  •  TLA? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    Don't they distribute gay-themed videos (including but not limited to porn)?

  •  The standard for good writing has always (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, The Marti, splashy, tapestry

    been that the first usage of an abbreviation, acronym or neologism is followed by a definition or explanation thereof. This isn't new, it is simply constantly ignored here.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:24:37 AM PST

  •  When you write TLA, I think video (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    There was a late, great chain of video stores in Philadelphia named TLA.  The stores are gone, but you can still buy from their catalog online.  There is still a TLA theater (unaffiliated) on South Street in Philadelphia.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:12:07 AM PST

  •  Yes, I HATE it when people use letters (0+ / 0-)

    Then don't explain what they mean.

    Especially when it matters to the subject. Trying to infer what is being talked about is very very annoying.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:02:54 PM PST

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