Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ban abbrs!

So, maybe this is a little bit radical, but I think we should stop using abbreviations. We have the technology to automatically expand abbreviations in writing, so that advantage is pretty much lost. For anyone who is a nonlinear reader and writer, the rules create a huge waste of time -- you have to track the first use of an abbreviation in order to expand it and put it in a table of abbreviations. For a nonlinear writer, who might write the introduction after the body, this can get cumbersome. For a nonlinear reader, such as someone who uses SQ3R or similar method, it creates an irritation to have to thumb back to a table of abbreviations (and another huge waste of time).

So, how about it, style guide writers? Time to move grammar out of the IBM Selectric age?