On Naming and Abbreviating

Okay, can those of us involved in science/technology/innovation please agree on something from now on? Can we try to cut down on the acronyms? I think few people will disagree when I say it's getting a little out of hand these days. There's far too many disambiguation pages popping up on Wikipedia. And on top of all that, there's now abbreviations in the business and information technology worlds that collide in so many contexts that their meaning actually can become ambiguous.

For example, if I tell you my company is hiring a consultant to help us with “updating our CRM techniques,” I could mean any of a number of things: we might need help with Crew Resource Management, Customer Resource Management, Customer Relationship Management, Content Rights Management (a.k.a. DRM), Conceptual Reference Models, Credit Risk Management ... the list goes on and on. We've got MSRPs and EULAs for all our IP, and the DMCA suggests that we produce NDAs and TMs for anything we submit to the USPTO. This is getting confusing.

We need to return to the fun way of doing it, the good old fashioned activity of augmenting our language to include the things we create. Don't worry, I was an English major; I know what I’m doing. I'll be the first to encourage an ever-changing stream of colloquialisms. This is just how language works — in fact, it's the best thing about language: it's whatever we need it to be!

When naming, one should also keep SEO (Search Engine Optimization) principles in mind. I'm telling you to make up new words, not just to repurpose old ones! How am I supposed to find information about Google Gears? When I search for it all I get is an endless stream of websites desparate to sell me sprockets, gears, and sometimes “Gears of War.”

Have you ever heard of the programming framework called "Processing?" Go ahead, try searching for it — you can't. Every article on Earth that mentions programming also mentions processing. Sometimes users of the framework even type it as 'Proce55ing' to avoid confusion! Recently it’s gotten so bad that people have taken to calling it ‘Processing.org.’ The authors gave it such a stupid name that the users actually augmented it themselves.

So get creative. Don't call it High-Definition Digital Video Disc or HD-DVD, call it Blu-Ray. Don't call it 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence' or 'IEEE 802.15.1 WPAN', call it Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Get into it, it's fun! Inventing things gives you the right to invent words; what could be better?
P.S.  We need to cut it out already with the iThis and eThat and iBlandUnoriginalRetailProduct (iBURP ... lovely). Fucking control yourselves already!

P.P.S.  I guess the abbreviation for 'postscript' is acceptable ... I'm not saying acronyms can't help us out sometimes.

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