December

Re: LOL is OK, FYI

Texting and Twitter have introduced a new lineage to our vocabulary, one which many business people disdain.

You too may wonder if abbreviations and acronyms are OK for business.

Well, it depends.

Now, the HR folks down at HQ might tell you to avoid abbreviations.

But abbreviations and acronyms are handy. They let us refer to common phrases in shorthand, to help make our writing clear. That is, if our reader knows what our shorthand means.

My clients use EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) to give an indication of the current operational profitability of the business. My web marketing company does a superb job with my SEO (search engine optimization). And a few weeks ago, I bought a beautiful Subaru Outback for less than the dealer’s MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price)!

Those abbreviations work great when we’re talking with our peers. But when we write COB (close of business) to a customer, we’d better make sure yo knows our business closes at 12:00pm on Fridays, not 5:00pm.

So before using an abbreviation, ask yourself two questions:

 “Will my reader know what this means?”

 “Is this abbreviation helping me be clear?”

If your answers are “yes”, then start using abbreviations ASAP!

 l8r

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Things we like.

If you’re wondering where in the world you can find an assortment of abbreviations to adorn your next newsletter, click over to the world's largest and most comprehensive directory and search engine for acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms on the Internet: Abbreviations.com

 

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Things to ponder.

As you gather up the wrapping paper, and pack away the ornaments, I hope you find time to appreciate your seasonal celebration of Xmas.

But wait! Before you call me blasphemous, consider this: Many people think Xmas is modern shorthand for the spiritless shopping season that extends from July 4th to Memorial Day. But the term is actually an ancient artifact.

Xmas is derived from the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, meaning Christos, Greek for Christ. In fact, the New Testament was first written in Greek.

Originally, Xmas was an abbreviation where the X represents the Greek letter chi, the first letter of Christ's name.

labarum.jpgAlso, the symbol called the labarum, or Chi-Rho, which resembles an X, was used by the Roman emperor Constantine to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ.

Because of the English language interpretation of the symbol as the letter X, many people wrongly assume that this abbreviation is meant to drop Christ from Christmas.

So fear not the heathens, and celebrate next Xmas with righteous cheer!

 

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