Who doesn’t love an acronym?

Me. That’s who.

I started writing notes for this a while back. And I had, randomly written, WDLAA at the top. I now have diddly squat idea what that is/was? Which kind of makes my point for me. The end!

Are you with me though? Acronyms are obstacles. They are barriers. They are a private members club. Not always. But often.

It’s really important to spell out (literally) acronyms when introducing them for the first time in copy. You shouldn’t assume your readers understand them. (Caveat, for internal comms in an acronym heavy sector fill your boots because of course they can be helpful). For everyone else you should minimise use of them.

LOL – is a kind of historical legend now, when some people used it for quite a long time for lots of love, when of course it’s laugh out loud. I think it was Tony Blair (but don’t quote me on it) who famously used it wrongly for far too long.

CSA – Child support agency or countryside alliance?

OP – (only ever used online and very very exclusionary, meaning original poster) the not permanently online have no clue what it means.

TIA – yes I did think this was a name for way too long. Grates every time I see it.

SNAFU – not an actual word and drove a lot of us Wordle users to absolute distraction when it appeared. (Still not over it)

CBT – You may or may not, depending on your sensibilities be amused by this…in a recent C4 documentary series fronted by the marvellous Kathy Burke she interviewed a dominatrix. I was fascinated to learn that one of her therapies was CBT. I know CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy and is widely used for a wide variety of mental ill health. Not so in the dominatrix world. Their CBT is cock and balls therapy. And now that is all I will ever hear.

To sum up – beware of the double meanings and always have your audience front and centre when using acronyms in copy.