At Wieni, we strive to minimise the use of abbreviations for several specific reasons.
Abbreviations lack inclusivity
Abbreviations tend to create a division between those who are familiar with them and those who are not. Using specific abbreviations implies an "us versus them" dynamic, where anyone not acquainted with the same set of abbreviations feels like an outsider. This becomes especially evident when new team members join us, as they may feel alienated and less knowledgeable about the team's jargon.
Abbreviations are inefficient
When a message contains abbreviations, it can cause confusion among recipients. Each person may need additional time to decipher the meaning behind the abbreviations, leading to unnecessary delays. For instance, if 15 people spend around 5 seconds each trying to understand an abbreviation, it collectively adds up to 75 seconds of wasted time. If a sender employs ten abbreviations, this time loss can be even more significant, stealing unintentional 750 seconds of productivity.
Abbreviations are ambiguous
Abbreviations often carry multiple meanings depending on the context in which they are used. This ambiguity can result in misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Moreover, imagine the consequences if someone accidentally confuses the abbreviations for NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid). Such mix-ups can lead to serious confusion and potential mistakes.
There are situations where abbreviations are acceptable, such as when we discuss AWS (Amazon Web Services) tooling at Wieni. It is important to ensure clear contextual understanding. In these cases, we may choose not to use the full names of three-letter acronyms.
By the way, did you know there are two types of abbreviations?
- Acronyms: These can be pronounced, such as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and SPOC (Single Point of Contact).
- Initialisms: These cannot be pronounced as words, such as IBM, KPI (Key Performance Indicator), and ROI (Return on Investment).
More Wieni Habits
Discover more about our communication habits on How do we communicate?